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Region Middle East
Leader President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Population 80 418 000
Christian 0.2%
Main Religion Islam
Government Republican Parliamentary Democracy
Rank 31
Score 62
Previous Rank 37
Previous Score 57

“They are saying things like they had been waiting for us to return to Islam, and that we are responsible for other Muslims turning to Christ, that our time is up, and that Allah will give them our heads.”

Turkey’s national identity does not include Christianity. Over the last decade Turkey has become increasingly Islamic and moved away from secular governance. Christians have found in this time that Christianity has become less and less accepted. The government has also become more restrictive. Monitoring of citizens has increased and major crackdowns on media have occurred. Due to its location, Turkey has experienced a large influx of refugees and has ongoing tension with its different neighbours. Attempts to become more Islamic have not helped with this and the government aspires to become a regional power.

While Christians make up a part of the social fabric, they are more tolerated than accepted. This manifests in different ways: for instance, only some churches can be registered. Christians also find that because of their religion it is difficult to find employment. The most intense persecution is felt by those from a Muslim background. Though there is no law against conversion, those who convert face even greater discrimination. They must often endure criticism and pressure from their families.

Open Doors is raising prayer for believers in difficult situations and prayer in general for Turkey.

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