31.7 C
Frankfurt am Main

Protestant churches in Turkey highlight rising rights violations

Must read

The Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey has released its “2023 Rights Violations Monitoring Report,” highlighting increasing challenges and rights violations faced by the Protestant community throughout the past year, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported.

The report identifies a worrying rise in hate speech directed at Protestants, documenting an increase in hate speech against Protestants on social media platforms, with local media often contributing to the negative rhetoric.

Protestants continue to face significant obstacles in establishing and maintaining places of worship. The report emphasizes that these barriers severely restrict their ability to practice their faith freely, highlighting the ongoing issue as a critical concern for the community.

The report also reveals an alarming trend in the treatment of foreign Protestant clergy. In 2023, 33 foreign religious leaders were assigned restrictive immigration codes such as N82 (requiring prior permission to enter) and G87 (considered a general security threat), a sharp increase from just two cases in previous years. Including their families, this affected a total of 63 individuals.

“Many of these individuals have lived in Turkey with their families for years, contributing positively to their communities without any criminal records or investigations,” the report states. “Their sudden deportation or entry ban has disrupted family unity and caused considerable distress.”

The US Department of State said in a report released in May 2021 that Ankara continued to limit the rights of non-Muslim religious minorities, especially those not recognized under the government’s interpretation of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, which includes only Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Christians, Jews and Greek Orthodox Christians.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was criticized in the report for many rights violations, including restricting efforts of minority religious groups to train their clergy and making it difficult for them to open or operate houses of worship and obtain exemptions from mandatory religion classes in schools.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News