Pray for: Turkey

Flag for Turkey

Key Stats

Religion & Geography
Category Statistic
Continent: Asia
Capital: Ankara
Population: 85,042,736
% Urban: 76.6 %
Population Under 15 Yrs: 24.3 %
Official Language: Turkish
Languages: 45
Literacy Rate: 96 %
HDI Ranking: 54 / 189
% Christian: 0.2 %
% Evangelical: 0 %
Largest Religion: Muslim
% Largest Religion: 96.6 %
People Groups: 67
Least Reached People Groups: 45
% Unevangelized: 52 %
Persecution Ranking: 25 / 50

Turkey

Title: Turkey

Tier: 1

Type: country

Turkey is a nation torn in different directions. It crosses 2 continents: 3% is Europe (Thrace), and 97% is Asia (Anatolia). It has economic links with Europe, cultural links with Central Asia, and sits near conflict areas such as Iraq/Syria, the Balkans, and the Caucasus. Turkey is a secular state, yet to be Turk is to be Muslim! The constitution, courts, and military are meant to uphold religious freedom, but even some secular Turks can be as anti-Christian (and anti-Western, anti-minority) as Islamists are. Turkey’s strategic location has made it important throughout history. It could serve as a powerful and stable mediator in a region of great conflict. But more and more, it looks like it is moving toward being a dictatorship rather than a democracy. Thousands of people associated with the political opposition parties have been arrested or lost their jobs. Even some loyalists were “not loyal enough” and lost theirs, too! Pray for God’s will to be done in this influential nation and for Turkey to be used for His glory.

Turkey

Title: Turkey

Tier: 1

Type: country

For over 1,000 years, this region was a stronghold of Christianity. Later it became a centre for the spread of Islam. The Christian population declined from 22% in 1900 to 0.21% in 2010. Few of today’s 73 million Turkish Muslims have ever truly heard the gospel. The ancient Churches survived until the beginning of the 20th century, but massacres (Armenians), severe persecutions (Assyrians), and emigration (Greeks) removed most of them from the land. Pray for a reviving work of the Holy Spirit among the 130,000 Christians from these ancient confessions who still remain in Turkey.

Turkey

Title: Turkey

Tier: 1

Type: country

Give praise for the slow but steady growth of Turkish evangelical Christianity. Turkish and Kurdish believers probably numbered around 10 in 1960 but rose to around 4,000 by 2010. Many hoped for or expected greater growth of the Church. But while small in number, it grew stronger and more mature. The growth of the 1990s and early 2000s slowed down when faced with spiritual, legal, and cultural opposition. Pray for the evangelism and church planting of the past generation to carry on! Meanwhile there is a remarkable turning to Christ of migrants from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere who are refugees in Turkey. While ministry to Turks and Kurds is watched closely, there seems to be greater freedom to minister to these refugees.

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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.