Church group announces day of prayer for Turkey

The Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey is inviting Christians worldwide to join in a day of prayer for the predominantly Muslim country.

The International Day of Prayer for Turkey will take place each year on April 18, the anniversary of the horrific murders of three Christian workers in a Bible publishing house in Malatya in 2007 by a group of young Muslim Turks.

“On 18 April 2007, Necati Aydin, Tillman Geske and Ugur Yüksel were murdered for no other reason than actively living and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. We know that their deaths, that saddened God’s heart and our hearts, were not in vain,” said a spokesperson for the group.

“We feel that more than any other event, mingling their memory in deep prayer for the country they and we all love, will honour their sacrifice.”

The group is asking Christians to pray that Turkey’s tiny Christian community can be strengthened in the Holy Spirit to live for the glory of God and that the people of Turkey will open their hearts and eyes to the Kingdom of God.

The initiative has received the backing of the European Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Gordon Showell-Rogers, General Secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance, urged members to pray “for the glory of God and the good of Turkey, as well as for the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ there”.

Despite Turkey’s rich Christian heritage – the seven churches addressed in the Book of Revelation were located in Turkey - 98 per cent of the population are Muslims. Christians are believed to make up only 0.3 per cent of the population.