Turkey’s entry into the European Union won’t curb ministry.

By June 29, 2006

Turkey (MNN)–IN Network’s Rody Rodeheaver says persecution isn’t on the front burner anymore with Turkey’s focus on entering the European Union.

For that, they have to correct their records on religious freedom and human rights abuses. “From the government perspective, there is much more acceptance of the indigenous church. What we find, however, is that often does not get translated into the neighborhoods and into local groups where you may find some more of the fanatical elements.”

Christian believers have declined from 22% to only .32% between 1900 and 2000, with most of the Christians being non-Turkish. According to statistics on IN Network’s website, few of the over 66 million Muslims have ever heard the Gospel.

IN Network’s goals for growth are ambitious, yet gradual. “The staff in Turkey are able to develop relationships and begin the very slow relationship-building that allows us, at some point, to share the Gospel in a very natural and un-offensive fashion.”

The IN Network team hopes to have local churches in 50 provinces and be discipling 10,000 believers in the country by 2010.

They’re also anxious to help train Turkish evangelists and sent to other countries with Turkish populations, mainly Central Asia and Cypress.

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