TURKEY: The Malatya Murders and Ten Years of Forgiveness

Source: International Mission Board, April 18, 2017

Ten years ago in the city of Malatya, Turkey, three Christians were martyred for their faith by men who pretended to be interested in the gospel.

In the days following, the press spoke to one of the widows, and she declared her forgiveness for the murderers. In Turkish culture, [it] was unheard of that someone could forgive such an act of evil. So the story spread, and people across Turkey were talking about it in their homes, tea houses, and places of business.

During the fifty-plus years of evangelical Christian work in [modern] Turkey, this message of forgiveness has been proclaimed hundreds of thousands of times. Sometimes it is proclaimed through God’s Word, sometimes through preaching and prayer, but rarely has it been declared more vividly than in the sacrifice of our brothers and in the words of this widow.

Currently, the evangelical church of Turkey lists its number of believers at around six thousand, a number that is about double the number of believers in 2007, the year of the murders.

» Read full story and see also a few additional stories of forgiveness, both connected to Egypt’s Palm Sunday attacks: Wife of Slain Security Guard in Egypt: “I Forgive My Husband’s Killer” and Widow of Palm Sunday Martyr: “He Asked Me to Wait for Him… But He Never Came Back” (Open Doors).

» April 18 was the Global Day of Prayer for Turkey in commemoration of the Malatya martyrs (watch a four-minute video below). Also pray for Turkey’s future on the heels of a significant political referendum.


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