Turkey’s religious ministry has $11 billion budget to promote Islam while Christians have no legal pathway to build new churches

January 2, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Turkey: the disrespect of Turkish authorities toward Turkey’s Christian heritage is ongoing, as is its calculated hostility toward the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Christian community in Turkey. The Order once again requests that Turkey’s government heed the message of mutual respect preached by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The Order also reiterates our hope that the international human rights community will direct its attention to the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and of all Christians and other religious minorities in Turkey, and that the Turkish government will heed the repeated calls to grant full religious freedom to its embattled Christian minority.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.

“Turkey Grows Role of Islam,” International Christian Concern, December 31, 2019:

12/31/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkey’s religious ministry, the Diyanet, is planning a strategic action plan budget of $11 billion until the year 2023. The ministry’s budget exceeds that of other ministries by a large margin. It is responsible for promoting Islamic education, as well as building and funding mosques. The Diyanet has projects throughout the world.

Turkey is constitutionally secular but under the leadership of President Erdogan, has increasingly leaned Islamic. Whereas the Diyanet has grown in activities to promote Islam, other religious groups in Turkey are experiencing an uphill battle to practice their faith.

For Christians, there is no legal pathway to build new churches. As a result, many are left to worship through the establishment of associations or foundations. Several Christian leaders have also warned that as the government grows the role of Islam in society, the environment becomes more challenging for believers to live as Christians.