In 2008 Turkey had a population of 71,517,100. The vast majority of the Turkish population is Muslim (99%), and the remainder are Christians (primarily Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic) and Jews (mostly Sephardi).
Members of the Conservative Mennonite Conference first entered Turkey as self-supporting "tentmakers" (Acts 18:3) in 1982. One individual was enrolled in the university as a student. The other was hired as a university teacher of English. Conscious of the fact that the Turkish government finds the presence of western missionaries offensive in a country where 99 percent of the people are Muslim, the Mennonite personnel were sensitive about how they shared their faith and worked to make responsible professional contributions to the country.
The Turkish constitution grants complete freedom of religion to all individuals. Christians are sometimes arrested and called in for questioning, but when brought to trial, they have always been acquitted.
One Mennonite worker was thus tried, acquitted but eventually evicted. The harassment and societal pressure make conversion to Christianity extremely difficult but a small, national Christian fellowship was growing in 1986. Mennonite workers were contributing to this effort. They hoped to maintain a low-key presence in the country.
Cite This Article
Showalter, Jewel. "Turkey." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1989. Web. 16 Sep 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Turkey&oldid=78335.
Showalter, Jewel. (1989). Turkey. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 September 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Turkey&oldid=78335.
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