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Middle East
Christian population
169 000 (0.2%)
Main religion
Main threats
• Islamic oppression
• Religious nationalism
• Dictatorial paranoia
• Ethno-religious hostility

Total score






Recent news

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The combination of rising religious nationalism and a growing emphasis on Islamic values by the government is intensifying the pressure on believers in Turkey.

Foreign Christians continue to be forced to leave the country or banned from returning, including those with Turkish spouses and children. Historical Christian communities are monitored regularly and subjected to controls and limitations by the government.

Although conversion from Islam to Christianity is not legally forbidden, anyone who isn’t a Muslim, or who converts to a different faith, is seen as a disloyal Turk. Christians are viewed as a negative Western influence, and those who choose to follow Jesus – whether from Islam or secularism – can face pressure from their families and communities to recant their faith. Given that religious affiliation is registered on the electronic chip inside ID cards, it’s easy for employers to discriminate against believers.

Turkey is also home to converts from countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. On top of pressure from Turkish society and government officials, these believers face pressure from their own families and communities.

Meet Mahmood

“It was an intolerable and unbearable period for us, but now we feel that God gave us a second chance for knowing Him better and living according to what He really wants.”

Mahmood (name changed), on how the earthquake of February 2023 helped their faith.

What does Open Doors do to help?

Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Turkey. Through local partners, Open Doors supports Persian Speaking refugee believers with training, resources and practical support.

Please pray

  • Pray that Christians will be seen as valued members of Turkish society, rather than a threat.
  • Pray for boldness, wisdom and protection for believers as they follow Jesus amid hostility.
  • Pray that believers will not grow disheartened by the rising challenges.

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