DARE TO DREAM FOR THE CHURCH
Having a church means having a Christian community, it means learning from the Bible, having support and encouragement in times of struggle. Many Christians in Turkey are alone in their faith and are turning to SAT-7 TÜRK in their isolation to share their struggles.
Making up less than one percent of the population, Christians in Turkey face one significant problem: isolation.
THE CALL OF THE ISOLATED
“There isn’t a church that I can attend here, and I can’t go anywhere because people around me are so far from Christianity” writes Özlem, a SAT-7 TURK viewer. With no church or Christian community, viewers like Özlem reach out to the Audience Relations teams for support and prayer. “I would like to ask for you to pray for me and my husband. Your channel is a huge help for me”.
A difficulty in finding local churches, combined with a lack of Christian resources, makes it very difficult for people searching for answers about Christianity. As the only Christian channel available via satellite, SAT-7 TURK programming is a vital source of information.
Berk, from Turkey, spent some time in prison where he encountered Christians. He became curious about their faith and soon after became a follower of Jesus. Finding Christians in prison, however, was easier than outside of prison. “I haven’t found a Bible since I got out and I don’t have anyone to talk about these things” he explains. “I came across your channel and started watching it. Can you help me learn more about Christ? Can you guide me to someone to talk to?”.
ALONE IN THE FAMILY
Isolation is especially difficult for individuals with families, “I have faith in Jesus, but my wife is not a believer, and my family opposes Jesus Christ” explains Serkan, a male viewer. “I have two children and I want them to know about God” he adds. Similarly, Selen communicates her desire for her family, “My family, my children, are not believers. I want to share the Gospel with them and with those around me”.
Veli and his brother have grown up as Christians but have not been taught about the faith since they were children. “We neither have a church nor a fellowship here. We feel so lonely.” He writes. “Because we have no one here, we are trying to satisfy this need by learning about Christianity through your channel”.
TROUBLE AT WORK
As a minority, some Christians like Berkay also face isolation and discrimination at work. “The people I work with are religious but not Christian. When they go for their prayers, they pressure me to join them. They don’t know that I am a Christian and don’t understand why I don’t go with them.” Afraid of losing his job, Berkay is afraid of drawing attention to himself.
Doğuş, another male viewer, has also faced problems at work as a result of his faith. “I start working at a job and three months later I am sacked because I am a Christian. They want me to live the way that they do, but I will never leave Jesus Christ”.
PRAY FOR THE CHURCH IN TURKEY
Pray that the church will continue to grow in Turkey, so that isolated believers will find fellowship and have the opportunity to learn more about God’s Word.
Thank God for the existing Christian communities and pray for their protection in these uncertain times of economic and political uncertainty.
This article is part of SAT-7’s Week of Prayer 2019 – Dare to Dream. Please join us in praying for the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Click here to access more resources and download our prayer guide.