|% Urban:||76.6 %|
|Population Under 15 Yrs:||24.3 %|
|Literacy Rate:||96 %|
|Life Expectancy:||76 yrs (80/236)|
|HDI Ranking:||54 / 189|
|% Christian:||0.2 %|
|% Evangelical:||0 %|
|% Largest Religion:||96.6 %|
|Least Reached People Groups:||45|
|% Unevangelized:||52 %|
|Persecution Ranking:||41 / 50|
The devastating impact of the earthquakes in February 2023 shocked the world. Around 50,000 people, but possibly more, died. That the earthquakes occurred in winter increased the suffering of survivors. Literally millions of buildings were destroyed or damaged and hundreds of thousands of people left homeless. Much of the destruction occurred in remote areas; getting assistance to these communities is now all the more difficult. Many of the buildings failed to meet up to safety standards due to corruption that allowed builders to bribe officials and skirt around requirements. Rebuilding both the physical infrastructure and faith in corrupted political leadership will take years or even decades – the trauma of loss will stay with many for their whole lives. Pray that God might use this tragedy to bring breakthrough to areas long resistant to the good news. Pray that Christians might pour into the area with aid, assistance, compassion, and mercy as they love and serve the people of this region – in genuine partnership with and service to the local body of Christ. Pray that such humble and generous Christian service and witness might be present for the long haul of restoration, and that many hearts would respond to these demonstrations of Christ’s love.
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 Türkiye.
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 Türkiye. While ministry to Turks and Kurds is watched closely, there seems to be greater freedom to minister to these refugees. Many are praying that the shaking of the nation from the 2023 earthquakes would trigger a mass movement of people to find and follow Jesus.
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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.