Is Turkey, the Gateway to Asia, Opening or Closing?

Over the centuries Turkey has vacillated between an open door and closed society when it comes to the Church. What do you know about Turkey? Will you take a few minutes to gain some deeper understanding of this complex society that is filled with so many opportunities and yet is currently very closed to the Gospel? But while you recognize the challenges, remember the cracks in the gateway that are providing new and exciting opportunities for Turkey’s people to hear the Good News.
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<p><img src="https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/missio-graphics/Volume+4/missiographics_Turkey_Gateway.jpg" alt="" width="800" /></p>
<p><a href="https://missionexus.org/is-turkey-the-gateway-to-asia-opening-or-closing/"><strong>Is Turkey, the Gateway to Asia, Opening or Closing?</strong></a><br />Over the centuries Turkey has vacillated between an open door and closed society when it comes to the Church. What do you know about Turkey? Will you take a few minutes to gain some deeper understanding of this complex society that is filled with so many opportunities and yet is currently very closed to the Gospel? But while you recognize the challenges, remember the cracks in the gateway that are providing new and exciting opportunities for Turkey’s people to hear the Good News.</p>

Engaging through Prayer
Dear God, I recognize that there is so much I don’t know about Turkey. Help me to open my mind and heart to the people of Turkey and learn about their challenges and opportunities. Help me to see where you are at work and find ways to join you there as you seek to redeem this amazing country and its people. Amen

Personal Reflection
We all know what it is like to come up to a gateway. Some are open just a crack, others are wide open and still others are locked shut. How do you respond to these three very different situations? Now consider the closing gateway in Turkey with it’s small crack still open. How can you take advantage of the small opportunities that are presenting themselves? How can you do the same in your personal life as you identify opportunities where the doors are only open a crack?

Engaging the Church
It is hard as a church to be involved in places where opportunities are limited. Turkey has seen such challenges to the Church and today it is still a very small percentage of the people. But sometimes a church’s efforts can make a big difference in keeping that gateway open or even opening it further. You might be engaging with ministry to refugees, new church plants, programs for teens, media ministries or other creative endeavors. Whatever you decide to do, will your church be part of keeping that door open?

Organizational Application
As ministry organizations working in Turkey, it is such a challenge with the many security concerns and limitations. How can you highlight what God is doing in a way that keeps people safe but also educates the broader church about what God is doing in this amazing country? Are you taking advantage of opportunities presented by refugees or media ministry to connect with Turkish society in new and creative ways? How might your organization creatively approach engaging Turkey to support the fledgling Church and also to engage in the growing populations living there from around the Middle East?

Sources
i http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/UstMenu.do?metod=temelist
ii https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html
iii Operation World 7th Edition, 2010, pg. 830; www.operationworld.org
iv http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=224
v http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/UstMenu.do?metod=temelist
vi https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html
vii http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/UstMenu.do?metod=temelist
viii http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/soc_glance-2011-en/08/01/index.html?itemId=/content/chapter/soc_glance-2011-26-en&_csp_=7d6a863ad60f09c08a8e2c78701e4faf
ix http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/turkey/
x https://www.statista.com/statistics/570098/distribution-of-social-media-used-turkey/
xi https://www.statista.com/statistics/467181/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-turkey/
xii Operation World 7th Edition, 2010 DVD
xiii http://www.nytimes.com/ref/timestopics/topics_armeniangenocide.html
xiv https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_exchange_between_Greece_and_Turkey
xv 2015 Study; Silas Ministries, Turkey.
xvi https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/07/18/home-to-3-million-turkish-immigrants-germany-fears-rising-tensions/
xvii Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2015, p. 37,

http://reutersinstitute.politics.ox.ac.uk/sites/default/files/Supplementary%20Digital%20News%20Report%202015.pdf

 

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