Located in the continents of Asia and Europe, the ancient land of Turkey is a bridge between East and West. Rich in biblical sites, it was conquered by Turkish armies coming out of Central Asia to become the centre of the Muslim world. Modern Turkey aspires to be part of Europe and has a functioning democracy and constitutional freedom of religion. The current population is 71 million, 20% of whom are Kurds. After decades of instability and mismanagement there has been a recent upsurge in the economy, allowing for the emergence of an urban middle class.
To be Turkish is to be Muslim and this deep national pride has severely hindered church growth. Workers have served in Turkey since the early 1960s but there are still only around 3,000 Muslim background believers scattered over 95 small churches. Believers are generally able to worship openly although they may suffer discrimination and slander from their families and communities. Rising nationalism has led to recent attacks on believers.
Thank You, Lord, for the beautiful, unique country of Turkey, the bridge between East and West. Thank You for constitutional religious freedom and increasing openness towards Europe. We pray for Your word to overcome national pride that clings to Islam and transform Muslim hearts into hearts that believe in You. Let Your light be seen in Turkey, and let those who see believe.
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