Turkey’s believers dare to hope for freedom.

By November 26, 2004

Turkey (MNN)–Turkey’s government prides itself in being totally secular.

As a result the atmosphere for the church is indifferent. When Christians suffer from harassment or vicious persecution from Muslim radicals, the response is less than helpful.

IN Network’s Rody Rodeheaver says there is hope that could change. “Turkey is wanting to become part of the European Union and have gone through some of the early processes in seeing that happen. In the first part of December, there will be a decision made by the European Union as to whether or not they would move forward and get on a schedule to become a full member.”

Pressure from the EU and human rights’ watchers may push Turkey to action. Authorities have been slowly changing its treatment of religious minorities–a giant step of renovation, undoing over eight decades of ‘state’ interference.

Rodeheaver explains that because Turkey wants to be part of the EU, the attitude could be more kind. “Part of that process would mean that Turkey would need to allow for more diversity in their religious sector. What that would do for the Christian churches would allow them to have more freedom to practice their faith.”

Rodeheaver urges prayer as a refusal could also mean harsher conditions.

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