Despite the central role of Turkey's church in the New Testament, evangelical believers today number only in the thousands within this highly Gospel-resistant Islamic country of more than 80 million. Turks are proud of their country, which has become rapidly industrialized and modernized. Yet, the love for their country is so fused with Islam that it is inconceivable for a Turk to be a Christian. Followers of Christ are generally characterized in the Turkish press as western imports who don't belong. By God's grace, Christians still have some degree of freedom to worship together. Over the years, efforts have been underway to strengthen and mature the leadership of the few Turkish churches located in the country. Turkish believers wisely utilize all major media platforms in order to share the Gospel with fellow Turks.
Life for Christians
Pastors have been targeted in sophisticated assassination plots. In 2007, two Turkish believers and a missionary were brutally murdered. More than a decade later, the perpetrators' trial still drags on. There is a huge stigma against becoming a Christian in Turkey, resulting in converts from Islam facing stiff opposition from all sides – their families, communities and government. In the process, many believers lose housing, jobs and familial relationships.