Date: November 18, 2022
Turkey (International Christian Concern) – On 11/15/2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) declared that Turkey had violated the human rights of the Greek Orthodox Taksiarhis church after denying them the ability to register for property. The church has a long history in Turkey and is one of the foundations under Turkey’s law of the Greek Orthodox Community of Istanbul. As a result, the ECHR declared this as discrimination and ordered Turkey to pay a fine of 5,000 euros.
The stark contrast between the previous population of over 1.8 million Greeks just over a century ago, to today’s population of a few thousand shows the level of persecution and discrimination they have faced over the years. The foundational churches began their struggle to stay active in today’s modern political climate of Turkey. The Greek Orthodox Taksiarhis church’s inability to register their church is a prime example of the hardships these communities face here.
According to the Report: Turkey Challenges facing Christians 2016-2020 published by ICC, states the following:
“Turkey has an obligation under national and international law to uphold Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). The authorities must provide a legal framework to accommodate religious minorities and develop a national narrative that promotes social cohesion. Given the new executive powers of Turkey’s president, the position holds the necessary authority to make needed changes to the legal framework which protects religious minorities. This obligation for religious freedom extends to those territories under Turkish military control.”
By calling out the Turkish government for this human rights violation, awareness on the subject can continue to circulate and hopefully pressure them to allow more freedom for the Christian population to practice their faith without fear of discrimination.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for greater respect for the Greek Orthodox Church. Pray for unity and growth among Christians in Turkey. Pray for more awareness about this lesser known discrimination.