Pressure and terrorist threats on Christians on the rise in Turkey

Thousands commomarate Turkish-Armanian journalist Hrant Dink’s death on January 19 every year by walking from Taksim Square to Agos newspaper in İstanbul.

The Association of Protestant Churches has released a report which revealed that hate speech, attacks and terrorist threats against Christians increased in Turkey in 2016, Cumhuriyet daily reported on Wednesday.

According to the report titled, “Rights Violations Report 2016,” hate crimes against Christians in Turkey continued in 2016, physical attacks against Protestants and their churches took place while churches faced serious terrorism threats.

The report said billboard ads, banners, booklets contained hate speech against Christmas and New Year celebrations while videos showed street theatres where Santa Claus is threatened with gun.

The report underlined that there was not sufficient reaction from state authorities and judiciary against the hate campaign against Christians that went around New Year celebrations.

The association’s report expressed deep sadness about exposition of the Bible which were found in some terrorist nests as terrorist material, relevant statements of officials and news stories in Turkey.

The report also pointed out an increase in hate speech against Christians and churches in media and in publications which present churches and terrorist organizations together.

According to the report, people whose identity cards does not mention from which religion they are and Christian refugees are obliged to attend religion classes because of regulations suggesting that only those whose identity cars include names of religion as Christian and Jews are exempt from religion class.

The report also underlined that since Christian students have to leave class during religion class, they are put in a position to express their religion which ends with harassment by other student and invitations for converting to Islam. (turkishminute.com)

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