Persecution of Christians in Turkey: over 1,000,000 Greek Orthodox Christians were massacred in the Ottoman Empire during the period of the Greek Genocide in the early twentieth century, the history of which is detailed extensively in the important book, The Thirty-Year Genocide by Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi (Harvard University Press). The Ottoman government also pursued the systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Ottoman citizens within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly converted to Islam. To this day, the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge this atrocity as a genocide, saying that it was simply a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims.

As we continue to see our own Mother Church of Constantinople suffering from religious persecution, we remember these horrifying events, note with sorrow the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere today, and pray that such inhumanity will never again be seen anywhere in the world.

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

“Turkish Media Denies Greek Genocide,” International Christian Concern, May 19, 2020:

05/19/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Today marks the anniversary of the Greek (Pontic) genocide which occurred from 1913-1922 in modern day Turkey. In the days preceding, Turkish press continued with their denial of this internationally recognized historical event. The newspaper Birlik Gazetesi published an article which implied disbelief by referring to it as a “so-called ‘genocide’” in the article’s title. Instead of providing an impartial account of the commemoration of the Greek genocide, the Turkish news source denied its occurrence altogether.

The Greek genocide was part of a larger attack on ethnic-Christian minorities, including Armenians, and Assyrians. At least 450,000 Greeks were killed during the exterminations, all as part of the Ottoman-era campaign to create a “Turkey for the Turks.”…

Turkey’s continued denial of the Greek genocide has led to a number of hardships for the descendants of the genocide’s survivors. Turkey has never acknowledged or apologized for these exterminations, and the country continues to enforce policies that ostracize Greek Christians within the nation. This has led to discrimination, the destruction of cultural heritage sites, and at times even new loss of life.