Foreign Christians issued with security designations by the Turkish Interior Ministry request prayer as they submit applications to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

In recent years, Turkish Authorities have designated approximately 75 expatriate Christians as threats to national security and have effectively had their Turkish residency terminated. They have subsequently been deported and banned from re-entering the country, despite not having been convicted of any crime.

Many of them, long-term Turkish residents, have appealed through the Turkish judicial system. Now that the first cases have exhausted all legal options in Turkey, they are able to proceed to the ECtHR:

David Byle, a dual US – Canadian citizen, lived in Istanbul for 19 years, serving with an evangelistic ministry. He was deported and banned from re-entry in 2018.

U.S. citizens David and Pamela Wilson lived in Istanbul for more than 35 years, actively involved in promoting the Bible. In February 2019, they were both refused entry into Turkey.

American citizen Kenneth Wiest lived in Ankara for nearly 34 years, assisting a local church. In June 2019, while leaving the country, he was informed he was banned and would be unable to return to his home.

Prayer Points

Please pray that:

  • The ECtHR will accept the cases and assess each of them carefully, noting that the four people appear to have been targeted on account of their legal Christian activities rather than posing a threat to Turkish national security.
  • The Lord will guide the legal advisors as they make submissions to the ECtHR and prepare to represent their clients.
  • Turkey will uphold religious liberty and stop seeing evangelical Christians as an existential threat.
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