Turkey accused of cynical motives for restoring churches in north Syria

Author: Mohammed Hardan

Publication Date: 12/7/2021

Source: Al Monitor

The Turkish Ministry of Defense recently announced that its armed forces carried out maintenance work on the Syriac Orthodox Church of Mar Tuma (St. Thomas) in the center of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria.

The ministry added in the July 14 statement that the Turkish armed forces have paid great attention to the restoration and maintenance of religious buildings in the Operation Peace Spring area.

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Turkey's illegal renditions of Syrian nationals back in spotlight

Author: Amberin Zaman  

Publication Date: 1/7/2021

Source: Al-Monitor

The rendition of Syrian nationals to Turkey, where they are prosecuted and jailed on thinly evidenced terror charges, has returned to the spotlight with the life sentencing by a Turkish court of three men of the Syriac Orthodox Christian faith to life in prison. Lawyers say the June 22 verdict violates Turkish and international humanitarian law and reflects the unlawful actions of Turkish forces and their Sunni rebel proxies in the large swaths of territory that Turkey occupies in northern Syria.

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The project to erect a church in Ur of the Chaldeans takes off

Publication Date: 12/7/2021

Source: Agenzia Fides

A project to erect a church in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the Iraqi governorate of Dhi Qar, also equipped with a meeting room useful in particular to welcome Christian pilgrims who from Iraq and all over the world want to reach the place where Prophet Abraham's journey to the Promised Land takes off.

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Papal statement would help mobilize int’l community: Erdoğan


Publication Date: 17/5/2021

Source: Daily Sabah

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a phone call with Pope Francis Monday underlined that the pope's continued messages and reactions concerning Israeli attacks on the Palestinians will help mobilize the international community, as well as the Christian world.

Stating that an “atrocity” is being committed in Palestine, Erdoğan added that Israel is answerable to not only the Palestinian people but the whole of humanity, including Christians and Muslims.

Erdoğan further highlighted that Israel, which is blocking access to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and limiting freedom of worship, is undermining human honor while also endangering regional security.

He stated that all of humanity must unite in the face of Israel’s illegal and inhumane practices that also violate the status of Jerusalem.

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For Iraqi Christians, scenes of both horror and hope

Author: Inés San Martín

Publication Date: 21/7/2021

Source: Crux

As Iraqis sort through the rubble of the latest terrorist attack Tuesday, an attack on a busy market in downtown Baghdad that left at least 30 people dead, one Catholic priest in Iraq says it’s important not just to focus on the horror of life in the country but also the hope.

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Interview: Reopening Muslim Minds to Freedom and Tolerance

Author: Todd Johnson  

Publication Date: 21/6/2021

Source: Christianity Today

In 1900, 7 million Christians lived in countries that were majority Muslim; in 2020, 84 million Christians did.

Also in 1900, 9 million Muslims lived in countries that were majority Christian; in 2020, 154 million Muslims did.

Meanwhile, Christians and Muslims have grown from comprising a third of the world’s population in 1800 to more than half today and are projected to comprise two-thirds by 2100.

These statistics from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary underscore the need for Christian and Muslim minorities to better flourish in each other’s contexts.

CSGC codirector Todd Johnson interviewed Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol about his new book, Reopening Muslim Minds, and about how an honest examination of the best and worst of Islamic history offers lessons for improving religious freedom and pluralism today:

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Duhok: Christians Displaced by PKK-Turkey War Live in Limbo


Publication Date: 29/5/2021

Source: Basnews

Since the beginning of the heavy conflicts between the Turkish army and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas in Kani Masi area of Duhok, the Christian residents of an entire village are displaced.

Chalke village is located in an area where Turkey repeatedly bombards as it suspects the presence of the PKK fighters in the area. The Christian residents of the village, however, have been relocated to Bersive Complex, where they live in uncertainty.

The villagers are also concerned about their farmlands and crops being burned to ashes with the ongoing armed conflicts, saying if not destroyed by war, they will be destroyed by the fact that there remains no farmer to take care of crops.

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Christian villagers under fire in Turkey-PKK clashes

Author: Yousif Musa  

Publication Date: 17/6/2021

Source: Rudaw

Navkandalan is a Christian village in the Batifa sub-district of Zakho in northern Duhok.

The Christian population there has plummeted from 70 to 40 because of conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkey.

The village’s residents demand protection.

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Assyrian monk gets two years in a Turkish prison for giving a piece of bread


Publication Date: 7/4/2021

Source: Asia News

A Turkish court sentenced Assyrian monk Sefer (Aho) Bileçen to two years and a month in prison after he was convicted of providing “help to a terrorist organisation”.

The clergyman found himself up on terrorism charges after he gave a piece of bread to two people who had turned up at the gates of his monastery; prosecutors told the Mardin High Criminal Court that the people in question were members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK).

The clergyman, who was not present in the courtroom, has always protested his innocence, and rejected the charges.

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How Turkey Eradicated Its Christian Minorities

Author: Rami Dabbas  

Publication Date: 19/5/2021

Source: Israel Today

Christians represented 20 percent of the Turkish population at the beginning of the 20th century, but by today their number have decreased to a mere 0.2 percent.

The first Assyrians arrived in Armenia in 1805 from Turkey and Persia, a process that accelerated significantly in 1828 and between 1915-1918.

What caused this migration? What is the situation of Christian minorities in Turkey compared to in Armenia?

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