Churches Vandalized in Istanbul on New Years Day
Unknown assailants vandalized three churches in Turkey on New Year’s Day.
The vandals spray-painted the door of Kadıköy Protestant Church, writing “Allah-1”. Two other churches in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district were also defaced on the same day.
In 2021, trespassers defaced and defiled Armenian churches, including climbing walls and playing loud music, removing crosses, and attempting to set fires. Though suspects were detained and arrested in several cases, the Turkish government does not always protect the rights of Christians in the country.
Protestant churches in Turkey, and namely its foreign congregation members, are often the targets of state-led persecution with the government identifying them as threats to national security. Foreign Christians face deportation and denied entry. Historic churches in Turkey have also been converted into mosques, including the Hagia Sophia.