Turkish Christians request prayer in the face of threats, media intimidation and actions against the Christian community in Turkey.
On Sunday 4 February it was reported that a homemade pipe bomb was placed in the garden of Santa Maria Catholic Church in Trabzon. The alarm was raised and the object was found partially burned, having failed to explode. Christians and officials in Trabzon note that this incident coincided with the anniversary of the murder of Fr. Andrea Santoro, in Santa Maria Church, on 5 February 2006.
This is the latest of a number of worrying incidents, believed to be prompted by negative media attention, directed against churches and church leaders in Turkey. In recent months, a number of negative reports about churches and individual Christians have appeared in the press in an attempt to incite unrest and opposition.
On 7 December 2017 death threats were made against the pastor and a church worker in Balikesir Protestant Church. Police continue to try to identify those responsible.
Turkish Christians are grateful that the authorities are actively engaged in protecting Christians and churches in Turkey. They request prayer that:
a. God will strengthen and console the Christian community in Trabzon and that the police will find the person(s) responsible for the attempted bombing
b. God will protect the Christian community from radical elements in Turkish society and give wisdom to church leaders to respond appropriately to threats
c. the Turkish press will stop using provocative language against Christians and that neighbours and communities around churches will not be incited to oppose them
d. despite the opposition, churches will continue to grow and be a blessing to society.