Intercession Bulletin
April 2007

A special sendout regarding the dramatic events from last week in Turkey.

As many of you have heard there has been a dramatic event involving the death of 3 brothers in Him, in the east of the country, Malatya (1,000 miles away from Istanbul)

This is event is highly unusual, but not totally unexpected. Briefly, 5 young men (all under 20) gained entry to a printing house office, run by the 3 brothers. Sadly it seems that at least one of the men (possibly the man who jumped from the window) was posing an interest in faith (clear deception) and had visited several times this gained some 'trust' which allowed him entry to an office that was normally 'secure'.

An assault then occurred on the three brothers, that was disturbing, ferocious and prolonged (the press have revealed some of these details in depth, and they are disturbing, especially in the binding hand and foot in a ritualistic Islamic fashion, ending in the murder of all 3 brothers. 1 German, 2 dear Turkish brothers, by having their throats cut.

It is clear that all 3 have never been involved in any illegal activity. There was no warning of any kind (although some of the press have said there was, by saying there was a demonstration outside the premises 'recently' - recently actually refers to 2 years ago when a small group chanted a few slogans.)

The whole family of Jesus has been saddened, yet unified and strengthened in faith. We know our brothers have gone to the better place.

Many encouragements have come as a result -not the least a televised press conference given by 2 national pastors leaders. It was on ALL channels for 20 minutes and the good news was shared. This itself is a challenge to the principalities and powers that try to spread the lie that believers are dangerous and violent and anti-Turkish, also that outreach is politically motivated and supported. In connection to this, the believing community is being 'demonised' and slandered by the press. These lies were clearly challenged and its good to hear this in the public arena (whether it is heard too clearly is a matter for the Holy Spirit)

The support given by many fellowships around the country to the remaining believers has been powerful and wise, many have travelled to be with people in Malatya.

Also on the afternoon of the event, as the news was breaking, the press were sniffing for a sensational comment, to which a dear brother shared his testimony and told the media that we (believers) have no hate for these 5 young men, and are praying for them.

In addition the wife of our German brother has public stated she forgives the torturers and murderers, and her husband's body has been buried in Malatya, which is a high symbol of identification with the country they

If you have a little time you might look at the following news details from secular sources (all in English)
BBC's initial report

BBC's follow up report

World Service report with a useful link to pastor Isans report

Also from Turkish sources and more in depth from a) a more conservative source

and then a more liberal source

Praise / Prayer points
* Romans 8:28 - all things to work for good, for those that love God
* Against 'fear' that can easily come to Jesus' community
* To see that these events show the true need for the gospel, and to seize the opportunities it gives.
* For the families, wives and children who remain: peace and support from the One who gives peace that the world cannot understand
* For brothers and sisters in Malatya especially, that they encourage each other, in word, prayer and praise.
* For leaders across the country to shepherd the flock wisely in the light of this event
* pray for the 10 or so involved (arrested), for peace to their troubled and violent hearts, that they may even come to faith.
* For police and legal authorities to pursue the case fairly and justly, and to protect the remaining believers in this city and across the whole country, according to the laws of the country.
* For media to change its 'tone & atmosphere' of antagonism and stirring (probably for sales and a sensational story) and to be balanced.
* For non Turkish workers especially against the special fears & worries that might come, and of course protection.

That we may make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, Eph 6:19 & 2 Cor 3:12.




On Wednesday 18 April a group of young Turkish Muslim nationalists  entered the Zirve Publishing House (which publishes and distributes Bibles) in Malatya, eastern Turkey, and murdered the three Christians working there. The believers were found bruised and bound to
chairs, with multiple stab wounds on their bodies, and with their throats cut. Two of the victims were young Turkish converts from Islam while the third was a German citizen. Twelve Muslim youths are facing charges with five held in custody. The brutal nature of the crime has shocked and revolted many in Turkey, causing some shame and soul-searching. Pray for God to comfort his Church, enlighten Turks to truth and bring good from this evil.

Over recent years several issues have driven much of Turkey's middle class towards nationalism and the masses towards Islamic fundamentalism. On top of this, some politicians have been exploiting for political gain the nationalist and Islamist myth of the 'missionary' threat to Turkish national security and identity. Meanwhile Turkey's pro-EU, secular, liberal democrats are concerned about the rising hostility both within their country and against their country. Turkey has only about 100,000 Christians (mostly ethnic Armenians) in a population of 74 million. During May Turkey's parliament will elect a new president. Please pray for Turkey.


Source: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 426


NIGERIA: where elections for state governors were held on 14 April and for president on 21 April.

UPDATE: The ruling party's candidate, Yar'Adua (formerly the governor of the northern Sharia state of Katsina), has apparently won the election with 70 percent of the vote, but there have been widespread claims of electoral fraud and mismanagement. Opposition groups are not recognising the result and the two main challengers, Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Atiku Abubakar, have declared the vote unacceptable. Niger Delta militants have vowed to make the region 'ungovernable'. According to ISN Security Watch, 'Nigeria [is] teetering on the edge of a major crisis, [and] analysts fear the ramifications will go far beyond the country's borders.'


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