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Worldwide Christian Persecutions for 'Turkey'

Appeals Judge in Azerbaijan to Decide Fate of Church

Upset but trusting in God, banned congregation awaits ruling in July. By Wayne King

Iranian Officials Heighten Control on Farsi-Speaking Church

AOG church in Tehran faces pressure to identify members to authorities. By Damaris Kremida

Egyptian Judge Frees Attackers Who Knifed Christian

Hard-line Salafi Muslims cut off Copt’s ear, terrorize his family. By Wayne King

Lawyer of Iranian Pastor on Death Row Faces Prison

Court upholds prison sentence, ban on law practice. By Damaris Kremida

Church Head in Unprecedented Meeting with Turkish MPs

Greek Orthodox patriarch expresses concerns for Christians in Turkey. By Will Morris

Crackdown in Iran Hits Official Churches

Authorities target Isfahan’s Anglicans, as well as ‘underground’ Christians. By Damaris Kremida

Attacked Turkish Pastor Joins in Memorials for Slain Christians

Istanbul church leader says he has known hostility from Muslims nearly all his life. By Damaris Kremida

Christian’s Six-Year Sentence Upheld in Egypt

Copt wrongly convicted of ‘blasphemy,’ inciting sectarian strife, lawyer says. By Wayne King

Turkish Christians Subject to Discrimination, Attacks, Report Says

Textbooks, media vilify followers of Christ; intolerance an ‘urgent problem.’ By Will Morris

Turkey’s Armenians Reconsecrate 16th Century Church Building

Ethnic Armenians who grew up as Muslims baptized in Diyarbakir. By Barbara G. Baker

Turkey Overturns Historic Religious Property Seizures

Christian and Jewish communities to reclaim state-confiscated properties. By Barbara G. Baker

Insurgent Blast Ravages Church Building in Iraq

Attack on Syriac Orthodox building in Kirkuk is its third in five years. By Damaris Kremida

Turkey Arrests 20 Allegedly Linked to Malatya Murders

Suspects in Ergenekon network long sought in homicide case to be questioned. By Damaris Kremida

Christians in Turkey Face Harassment; Murder Trial Stalls

Departure of presiding judge in Malatya case could further delay justice, attorneys fear. By Damaris Kremida

Links between Murders in Turkey and ‘Masterminds’ Expected

Witnesses previously barred will be allowed to testify. By Will Morris

Alleged 'Middleman' Arrested in Malatya, Turkey

Summary: ISTANBUL, October 21 MPBS24/7 REPORT From CDN. A court in southeast Turkey on Friday (Oct. 15) ordered the arrest of a suspected “middleman” linking the murder of three Christian men to alleged high-level masterminds. The arrest order came after the testimonies of a former prison inmate and an incarcerated ex-gendarmerie intelligence worker at Friday’s hearing. Journalist Varol Bulent Aral – one of the suspected “middlemen” who allegedly incited five young men to stab to death Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Christian Tilmann Geske at the Zirve Publishing Co. in Malatya – was re-arrested at the hearing. A key witness, Orhan Kartal, said that while in prison with Aral, Aral detailed how he had planned the attack on the Zirve publishing house by psychologically preparing five young men for the gruesome act. In Kartal’s account, Aral also claimed that there was a higher figure behind him, retired Gen. Veli Kucuk. A second witness, Erhan Ozen, worked for the clandestine Gendarmerie Intelligence Organization (JITEM). He said that as early as 2004, JITEM personnel were planning the Malatya murders and the assassination of Armenian editor Hrant Dink. Ozen said that after a meeting, some co-workers talked about how they were organizing an operation against the three Christians in Malatya in an effort to portray the state as ineffectual. “He was convincing because he gave many details that were coherent and that confirm each other, so his testimony seems to me authentic,” attorney Orhan Kemal Cengiz said.

Christians in Turkey Acquitted of 'Insulting Turkishness

Summary: ISTANBUL, October 19 MPBS24/7 REPORT From CDN – After four years of legal battle in a Turkish court, a judge acquitted two Christians of insulting Turkey and its people by spreading Christianity, but not without slapping them with a hefty fine for a spurious charge. Four years ago, gendarmerie officers produced false witnesses to accuse Turan Topal, 50, and Hakan Tastan, 41, of spreading their faith and allegedly “insulting Turkishness, the military and Islam.” At the Silivri court an hour west of Istanbul, Judge Hayrettin Sevim on Thursday (Oct. 14) acquitted the defendants of two charges that they had insulted the Turkish state (Article 301) and that they had insulted its people (Article 216) by spreading Christianity. Sevim cited lack of evidence. He found them guilty, however, of collecting information on citizens without permission (Article 135). They were sentenced to seven months of imprisonment each, but the court ruled that the two men instead could each pay a 4,500 lira (US$3,170) fine instead of serving time, said their lawyer Haydar Polat. Tastan expressed mixed feelings about the verdicts. “For both Turan and I, being found innocent from the accusation that we insulted the Turkish people was the most important thing for us, because we’ve always said we’re proud to be Turks,” Tastan said by telephone. “But it is unjust that they are sentencing us for collecting people’s information.” The charge was based on the fact that people interested in Christianity voluntarily provided contact information about themselves to a research center where the two men had worked as volunteers. Their lawyer said they will appeal the unjust conviction.

Algerian Christians Acquitted of Eating during Ramadan

Judge throws out case against men arrested during Islamic fasting period. By Damaris Kremida

Christians in Middle East Fear Violence from Anti-Quran Protests

Those in the West who provoke Muslim extremists are not the ones who will suffer, they say. By Wayne King

Trial over ‘Insulting Turkishness’ Again Yields No Evidence

Justice Minister says Article 301 defendants ‘presumed innocent’ until verdict. ISTANBUL, May 28 MPBS24/7 REPORT From(CDN) — The 11th hearing of a case of two Turkish Christians accused of "insulting Turkishness" closed just minutes after it opened this week, due to lack of any progress.

New Evidence Stalls Murder Trial in Malatya, Turkey

Defense lawyers’ absence also prolongs case that court wants closed. MALATYA, Turkey, April 21 MPBS24/7 REPORT From(CDN) — On the eve of three-year commemorations of the murders of three Christians in southeast Turkey, defense lawyers’ absence and new evidence kept a Malatya court from concluding the case here on Thursday (April 15).

Turkish Court Pushes to Close Malatya Murder Case

Erdal Dogan (left) and Murat Dincer. (Photo: CDN) Judges reject request to investigate links to suspected masterminds.

Baseless Case Against Turkish Christians Further Prolonged

Turan Topal and Hakan Tastan (Photo: Bla Bla) Justice Ministry receives international inquiry about progress of trial.

Assailant in Street Attack in Turkey Ordered Released

Ismail Aydin, here in front of the Kadikoy courthouse, says he has forgiven his assailant. (Photo: CDN) Court ignores ‘religious hostility’ of Turk who held knife to Christian’s throat.

European Court Rules Against Turkey’s Religion ID

Indentification card of a Muslim man in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: CDN) Designation on identification cards used to discriminate on basis of religion.

Worldwide Christian Persecutions

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