News by email Donate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

syria-churches-rebuild_article_image.jpg
World News

Turkish president's promise to rebuild churches in Syria 'a drug to numb feelings of Christians', claims Syrian pastor

Pastor Samuel, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, lives in north-eastern Syria and said he believes that Mr Erdogan's words do not match Turkey's treatment of Christians.

He told Christian charity Open Doors: "In reality, you can see the massacres that the Turks have committed against Christians at different times until today, so why would he build a church while killing Christians? Why did he enter the area and destroy the churches in the first place? Even if these promises were true, why would that benefit me when he has caused everyone to leave the area?"

 
 
President Erdogan made the promise while speaking at the White House earlier this month following his meeting with the US President Donald Trump. He said his government has "plans" in place to help Syria's Christian communities restore their churches damaged during Tukey's military operation in north-eastern Syria.

Pastor Samuel claimed that Syria's Christians are made to be part of "a game of political interests" of big states. He added that based on previous experiences with Turkey, "trust is absent in this scenario".
 
"Almost no Christians have remained in Tal Abyad or Ras Al-Ain on the border with Turkey. What would the churches or cathedrals do if the people have fled, were killed or became homeless after their houses were destroyed? The president's statement comes as a drug to numb the feelings of Christians against Turkey," said the pastor.
 
Dr Matthew Rees, head of advocacy at Open Doors UK and Ireland said: "The promises will be viewed with scepticism unless the Turkish president starts treating his own nation's Christians better.
 
"It's time that Turkey's Christians were treated with respect and recognised for the part they play in wider Turkish life. The president may want to look closer to home if he is to become an advocate for the Christians in his nation and their heritage."
 
The fate of Turkey's Christian heritage is a worry for the country's Christian community. A 4th-century Byzantine church is waiting for the Turkish government to decide whether it should be turned into a mosque. A recent court judgement has affirmed the right of the government to decide.

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

Connect

Donate

Donate