The First Martyrs of the Turkish Church

What is Islam about?  This question is not simply to discover the pillars of doctrine for Islam, though undoubtedly the recent brutal actions of five young Muslim men in Turkey were grounded in Muslim doctrine, particularly to protect the name of Allah.   

Undoubtedly, the main issue is Islam’s response to “infidels.”  How are they to be dealt with according to Islam?  They are to be killed, removed from the face of the earth.  As a pastor, I need to have a certain level of understanding about this religion.  What I desire to know is why the killing of Christians in Muslim countries is not by a minority but is a part of mainstream Islam.  See this story for example.

On April 18, 2007, three Christians were brutally killed.  Their crime: being Christians.  Here is an excerpt of the story: 

Tilmann Geske lived 10 of his 46 years in Turkey, a member of the country’s small Christian community. He and two Turkish Christians were killed last week, their hands and feet bound and their throats slit, at a Christian publishing house that distributes Bibles. Five young men were detained and charged with murder; they allegedly said they killed to protect Islam (you can read the article here). [Editorial note: for reasons unknown to me, the article is no longer avaliable at the URL provided.]

What I have uncovered in my research is that they not only killed them, they brutally tortured them for three hours before finally ending their lives by slighting their throats.  Some of this was captured on their cell phone according to this source.   This simply boggles my mind.  These heinous actions in the name of Allah?  One of the greatest ironies is that Muslims flock to America to distribute their literature, build Mosques, and proselytize others when their relatives in their homelands are killing Christians who are doing the same things in their lands.  They bask in the freedoms they deny others.  Yet this receives no press and Islam is seen as a peaceful religion.  Actions speak so much more loudly than words.  Muslims, your actions have spoken so loudly that I can’t hear what you say about Islam being a peaceful religion.  It is my hope that the truth about Islam is exposed to a greater degree to show 1) that Christianity and Islam could not be further apart in their response to those who are not of the same faith and 2) that Islam is, by nature, a militant and oppressive religion.   

Praise God for these three Christian martyrs who died for their faith.  May God us this for His glory in the Turkish Church in the 21st century as He did in Asia Minor in the 1st century.  May we, Christians who live in a free land, use our liberty to its fullest for the sake of Jesus Christ and the gospel.  Christians, pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ in Muslim lands (Hebrews 13:3).  As a Turkish pastor said after the death of these three Christians: “Don’t pray against persecution, pray for perseverance,” urges Pastor Fikret Bocek.  Tertullian said, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” (cf. Acts 8:4).  Grant this we pray for the Turkish church, Our Father.    

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