Greetings in the name of Jesus, our great High Priest
Our most recent prayer request concerning Hakan and Turan, two Turkish Christians facing a court case, was issued on 6th December. Recall that they were charged in October 2006 with “insulting Turkishness”, defamation of Islam and secretly compiling data on private citizens for a local Bible correspondence course and that the judge had been changed.
The latest hearing was held on 13th March. At the previous hearing held on 29th November the judge accepted a request from the prosecution that 12 additional witnesses testify. Several new witnesses gave evidence at the recent hearing. Three gendarme (i.e. soldiers) confirmed details of the initial investigation. This provided no evidence that justifies the charges. However, two witnesses failed to appear to testify. The judge scheduled the next hearing for 24th June when further witnesses are expected to testify concerning the searching of Hakan and Turan’s homes and office.
Recall that a new judge was appointed in autumn 2007. The previous judge had refused a request from the prosecution for such testimony believing that it was not relevant after the three accusers had each contradicted themselves when testifying during earlier hearings. In July 2007 the state prosecutor assisting the original judge stated that he believed there was no credible evidence against the accused.
The start of last week’s hearing was delayed by an hour. Christian news agency Compass Direct report that during this time Turan was asked by several police officers why he became a Christian. He carefully explained his decision to follow Jesus made 17 years ago in response to reading the New Testament.
Turkish Christians request our continued prayers that:
* The charges will be dropped or our two brothers acquitted
* They and Hakan’s family will know the daily strength and peace of Jesus
* The Church across Turkey will be emboldened, not intimated, by this ongoing legal delay
* The accusers and all officials involved will be attracted to the love of Jesus