Growth of the Protestant Church in Turkey

There is a great new article in the Spring edition of the International Journal of Frontier Mission by James Bultema, who has done some very interesting research on the Protestant Church in Turkey. There were two large growth spurts and this is how he accounts for them:

During these four and half decades [1960-2005], you see one period—from 1988 to 1994—that towers over other periods with respect to the growth rate. The reason for that spike in growth is quite simple: the New Testament in modern Turkish was printed and distributed, beginning in mid 1987. We had another spike from 2000-2002, and that is because the whole Bible in modern Turkish was first printed and distributed at the beginning of that period. (Bultema 2010: 28)

Check it all out over at www.ijfm.org.

Comments

Paradoxicon said…
And I take it that there are no "legal" ramifications for such conversions (at least not religiously-based ones)?
Abu Daoud said…
Turkey, unlike most Muslim countries, allows people to legally convert from Islam to Christianity. It's not easy, but they do allow it.

A more complex question has to do with the legal status of the churches themselves. My understanding is that they are not recognized as legal religious entities.
Paradoxicon said…
I think there was a case recently in Egypt where a judge ruled that a man could legally change his religion from Islam to Christianity. The problem is getting all his identification changed over, since you have to list your religion in Egypt on all your travel documents. I suppose it would be a bit easier in Turkey (because of its secular constitution). The impression I get is that the powers-that-be in Turkey don't like religion in general, especially if it's not Islam (though they don't think too highly of traditional Islam, either).
Abu Daoud said…
In Egypt, the recent case determined that a Muslim could NOT change his ID legally to Christianity.

Turkey has shifted from being very secular to having an Islamist government, which is the case today.

This shift from secularism to Islamism is happening across the world, including in Europe. Muslims in Europe don't have the numbers (yet) to install Islamic governments, but give it another 20 or 30 years.
Paradoxicon said…
This is the story I was referring to:

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g8Ro5sk6sChDNUGMQTIMBj6HsHQQ
Abu Daoud said…
Paradoxicon, this is totally a different case. The shari'a ruling here is that in fact they had never truly converted to Islam, so they are not leaving Islam.

Someone born a Muslim cannot leave it. It is a prison. And we should get used to this, it's the future in W Europe.
Paradoxicon said…
I see what you mean now. Thanks for clearing that up.

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