Turkey (MNN) — As the Gatestone Institute recently shared, Gospel opposition is growing in Turkey. Since 2012, the report claims, over 100 Christian leaders have been deported and banned from re-entering.
The news comes amid continued efforts to squash free speech. More than a dozen journalists were detained Monday in an ongoing “media purge.” According to the BBC, the workers were thought to have ties to a Muslim cleric suspected of plotting July’s failed coup.
This rising persecution isn’t stopping Deaf Christians.
“They’re actually used to persecution in one sense or another,” shares DOOR International’s President and CEO, Rob Myers. “Many of them have grown up in conditions where they’re considered a curse…they are marginalized or disenfranchised.
“Once they find their identity in Christ and they find their identity in who God’s made them to be, they can be fearless witnesses for Him.”
Deaf Christians stand firm
Because Deaf people are ostracized in Turkey’s society, reliable population statistics are hard to come by. However, DOOR estimates the number of Deaf in Turkey to be somewhere around 800,000.
A tiny group of Deaf Christians within that 800,000 are doing “amazing” things, Myers shares.
“It’s like Peter and John, who stood before the leaders and the leaders saw their faith and saw the boldness they had. They could see these people had been with Jesus,” he explains, referring to Acts 4.
“That same thing is happening with these Deaf believers who are taking a stand for their faith. Others are seeing that and wanting to know more, wanting to know who this Jesus is that they’ve given their lives to.”
According to a partnering organization*, Deaf people are beginning to believe in Christ because of the bold faith Deaf Christians are displaying. “They’re also winning hearing people to Christ who see that boldness,” Myers adds.
It’s a little unusual, he notes. In general, hearing people assume that Deaf people aren’t capable of sharing the Gospel. Not only are Deaf believers sharing their faith, they’re living out the words of Ephesians 6:13: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”
DOOR International equips Deaf Christians with the knowledge and tools they need to translate God’s Word and plant churches.
“Deaf people can be empowered,” says Myers. “God’s given them gifts, just like He’s given all believers gifts.”
Visit DOOR International’s website to learn more about their work. And, as the IDOP Sunday approaches, “please pray for Deaf people worldwide.
“This is a spiritual battle. Any time an organization is working to fulfill the Great Commission, going and making disciples of all the nations, that’s something the enemy wants to strongly come against.”
*– Name withheld for security purposes.