Monday, December 13, 2010

Christians in Turkey

Muslims flee their countries of origins, mainly to avoid prosecution; the Muslim Brotherhood is strict forbidden in Syria and other Muslim countries in the Middle East. Christians flee the area as well; being a Christian in a Muslim country is allowed but not general accepted. Turkey, which has the most liberal and safe laws for their religious minorities, can be proud about themselves as a Turkish human right lawyer activist an dear friend wrote down:

The Dirili Protestant Church was attacked in January 2005; a hand grenade was found on the roof of the Greek Patriarchate in February 2005. The Antalya Aziz Pavlus Church was set on fire in April 2005. Christian workers of a clothing store were attacked in August 2005. A land mine exploded on a road after a vehicle carrying a Syriac bishop passed by in August 2005. The leader of the Adana Protestant Church, Kamil Kıroğlu, was brutally beaten in January 2006. Father Andrea Santora was killed in Trabzon in February 2006. Members of the Mersin Catholic Church were threatened with knives in March 2006. The Syriac Church in Diyarbakır was raided and members were threatened in April 2006. The Orthodox community in Bergama was protested and not allowed to perform their service in May 2006. The Protestant church in Ödemiş was attacked with Molotov cocktails in November 2006. Priest Francois Rene Brunissen was stabbed in January 2006. Three Christian missioners were slain in April 2007. Priest Adriano Franchini was stabbed in İzmir in December 2007.
This list does not include death threats that churches and their leaders constantly receive. 

Yes, and this is not including the Jewish community, which saw a declining of almost 30% in their Istanbul community in 2009. But take a look at this, then you know how Christians are threated in Turkey:

Weimar Istanbul

A very interesting article by Claire Berlinski from and about Istanbul. Enjoy!

Weimar Istanbul

Dread and exhilaration in a city on the verge of political catastrophe

The City grew rapidly, dwarfing in size and population any other in the country. The streets stimulated like cocaine; horns honked, crowds surged, nerves jangled. To step outside was to be electrified by the harlequinade of roaring colors, bright lights, rushing traffic. Sybaritic nightclubs thrummed until dawn and well thereafter; strange and perverse sights were to be found on every boulevard, in every alley, at every hour, the aesthetic of contradiction between civilization and barbarity heightened by the ersatz baroque of the old architecture and the shocking ugliness of the new. Transvestites prowled, thieves pickpocketed, and in the fashionable cafés, intellectuals smoked furiously and complained of their anomie.

The Old World had vanished, and with it its agrarian economy, its reassuring class distinctions and social order. An alien and fragile political order had been imposed in its place. Experimental music, art, and cinema flourished; fascinations arose with utopianism, fortune-telling, mysticism, communism.

But there was at once a paranoid mood, a sense of impending doom. Markers of the City’s great imperial past evoked its former glory while proving its decline. The art of the epoch was fueled by the fear of imminent crisis and breakdown. Decadent American culture was hungrily emulated, passionately deplored. Painters produced works genuinely shocking to the eye; writers wrote novels so offensive to bourgeois sensibilities as to provoke threats of murder. A misogynistic terror of women dominated cultural and political debate: Had modernity destroyed their virtue?
Continue reading herrreeee.

Day Opening - December 13

Sunset in the city of Bleik Norway