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Mission Turkey (by Matt Smith)

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Mission Turkey:

Why The Church Needs To Evangelize Turkey

Islam and Geography

No one can ignore the threat Islam poses to our world today especially the Christian missionary.  It is interesting to note as well that the many unreached people for Christ are under the Islamic curtain.  According to Olson Islam is:

…the most widespread of the world’s religions and is found significantly on two continents and expanding into others.  It is the largest of the world’s religions (other than Christianity) with over a billion adherents.  It is unique among non-Christian religions in that it not only claims to be the only true religion, but it has followed up that claim by a sense of world mission that the other religions lack.[1]

This means that if we as the church Universal are able to focus on any area with zeal and organization it ought to be a Muslim area.  Olson follows the above statement with the argument that Islam cannot be addressed as a geographical phenomenon but a global one.[2] This means that there is no geographical area to focus on but instead a sense of world mission to Muslims.  While this is important to be committed to it does not preclude the fact that ideas have their source.  Mormons are influenced and encouraged everywhere but predominately in Salt Lake City Utah.  If I were intent on really making a difference in the Mormon world I would want to win Salt Lake City to Christ and let newly converted Mormons lead Mormons to Christ.  In the same vein, win Muslims to Christ and set them free to reach their own people and we will see a third of the world evangelized.  This is simplistic logic at best but in attempting to pinpoint any area of need in missions it seems important to address the places where people are in numbers.  In this case Islam is the center of the unevangelized.   It is the job of any sending agency to ascertain where that center is.  It is the contention of this paper that Turkey is the best spot to focus on in terms of Muslim outreach that can literally impact the globe.

There are essentially three schools of thought when it comes to reaching Muslims for Christ.  One idea is to race against the sword of Islam to reach areas that have not been reached or affected by this group. The second school of thought is to ignore and avoid Muslims in giving the Gospel thinking that they are just too hard.  These two ideas seem to be the modus operandi of the church for the last bunch of years.  The third idea is to engage Islam at the source and see converts from the heart of the system that could then affect change from the inside out.  Paul took this approach in that he went to the cities and not simply villages to ply his evangelistic mission.  The idea was that the people from the cities would spread and consequently spread the Gospel with them.  This is precisely what happened and what can still happen today.  Paul also challenged the major religious systems of the day at the highest forums possible going directly to the source.  Though he was in chains he went to the very seat of power in the Roman Empire and gave the gospel.  Today in thinking about evangelizing Muslims Paul’s approach seems best.  Where then should we focus?

There is an interesting book recently released by a secular geopolitical historian named George Friedman.  In his fascinating book called The Next Hundred Years, he lays out from a purely geopolitical, secular perspective where he believes the seat of Islamic power will reside.  The point of his book is not focused on this subject but instead is focused on the subject of examining history according to geographical realities and broad global trends and patterns to examine and lay out a possible scenario of the next hundred years.  Friedman has from a purely secular perspective laid out the geopolitical realities, a sort of forest rather than trees outlook, of the movement that is Islam.  He makes the case that Iran and Iraq are merely spasms that are the result of the fall of the communist Soviet Union.[3] His basic argument is that the Soviet Empire held the warring Middle East in check and inadvertently created a sort of stalemate in this area.  What we are seeing today, according to Friedman is the result of unintended consequences.  His point is not that it is unimportant but in terms of geographical history it is inconsequential.  The real threat from Islam he believes will come from an Islamic superpower.  He examines three possible areas for this super power to rise up.  According to Friedman:

Indonesia, the largest Muslim state in the world, is in no position to assert itself.  Pakistan is the second largest Muslim state.  It is also a nuclear power.  But it is so internally divided that it is difficult to see how it could evolve into a major power or, geographically, how it could spread its power, bracketed by Afghanistan to the west, China and Russia to the north, and India to the east.  After Indonesia and Pakistan there are three other major Muslims nation-states.  The largest is Egypt with 80 million people, Turkey is second with 71 million people, and Iran is third with 65 million.[4]

He rejected Egypt as a potential superpower based on it recent failure to become leader of the Islamic world under Gamal Abdel Nasser who consequently antagonized key players like the Saudis.[5] Given its insularity, isolation and poor economy it is hard to see Egypt as a major player on the world stage.  Iran is summarily rejected based on bad geography, being surrounded by opposing forces and by a general bad reputation by the United States.  In short if one were playing the game of Risk, Iran is in a bad spot to be a power in the long term.

Turkey is a different story altogether.  Having the seventeenth largest economy in the world with a GDP of about 660 billion it is a force to be reckoned with.  Turkey is not only a major world economy but also the largest in the region giving it the ability to grow without threat on the borders.[6] Again using the Risk analogy it can move in many different directions and can remain off the radar of the United States because it poses no threat to us.  It does not, like Iran, have to devote resources to protect and defend against the United States and so it can grow and reemerge in its old role, as the dominant force in the region.[7]

There is one more factor making Turkey a viable candidate for the global super Islamic power and that is its history.  According to Wikepedia.com:

The Ottoman Empire or Ottoman State (Ottoman Turkish: دولتْ علیّه عثمانیّه Devlet-i ʿAliyye-i ʿOs̠māniyye,[3] Modern Turkish: Osmanlı İmparatorluğu or Osmanlı Devleti), also known by its contemporaries as the Turkish Empire or Turkey (see the other names of the Ottoman State), was an empire that lasted from 1302 to November 1, 1922[4] (as an imperial monarchy) or July 24, 1923[5] (de jure, as a state.) It was succeeded by the Republic of Turkey,[6] which was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923

At the height of its power (16th–17th century), it spanned three continents, controlling much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. The Ottoman Empire contained 29 provinces and numerous vassal states; some of which were later absorbed into the empire, while others gained various types of autonomy during the course of centuries. The empire also temporarily gained authority over distant overseas lands through declarations of allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, such as the declaration by the Sultan of Aceh in 1565; or through the temporary acquisitions of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, such as Lanzarote (1585).[7]

The empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. With Constantinople (Istanbul) as its capital city,[8][9] and vast control of lands around the eastern Mediterranean during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (ruled 1520 to 1566), the Ottoman Empire was, in many respects, an Islamic successor to the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.[8]

Friedman says that today Turkey is an internally complex society, containing a secular regime protected by a military charged with keeping peace as the culture moves towards Islam.[9] It is precisely this fact that causes the United States to taut Turkey as the model of Islamic democracy a dubious term that ignores the real threat that is Islam.  Ultimately however the subject is not the government of Turkey but its future center of Islamic power.

The Future Radical Ottoman Empire

As we see today, even though Turkey is run by a secular government granting “religious freedom,” the reality is quickly changing.  Turkey is becoming daily more radical and is less and less the model of tolerance our government promotes.  Turkey is beginning to radicalize and is perfectly poised to spread radical Islam to the whole world.   One blogger commented on the radicalization of the government of Turkey with these words:

The Turkish military has announced joint military maneuvers with Syria. That means a NATO ally is working more closely–and to some extent revealing military equipment and tactics–to a country that sponsors Hamas, Hizballah and the Iraqi insurgents killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq; orders terrorist attacks in Lebanon to assassinate political and military figures there; wages war on Israel, and just got caught building a covert nuclear weapons’ building installation in conjunction with North Korea and Iran… Turkey’s regime has moved toward Iran, ignoring international sanctions, in no small part due to energy needs. Yet the improvements of relations go well beyond that. The latest step in rapprochement with the Iran-led alliance is the announcement that Turkey and Syria, Iran’s ally, will stage joint military exercises for the first time, April 27-29….     While Turkey is a NATO member, Syria is an Iranian bloc member and a sponsor of terrorism in its own right. This is one more step in the erosion of any serious effort to build an alignment against the growing power of the Iran-Syria alliance and should be treated seriously. Unfortunately, Western enthusiasm about Turkey as the perfect example of a Muslim-majority state being a democracy and illusions about Syrian moderation will prevent this from happening.[10]

This is significant on a geopolitical scale but it is the regular person on the street commentary that paints a clearer picture.  Daniel Blake, from Christian Today had this to write:

The three Christians who were martyred in Turkey last week were horribly tortured for three hours prior to being killed, Christian Today has learned, as details continue to emerge.

According to the Washington-DC based human rights group International Christian Concern, the three were put through a horrific ordeal which included multiple stabbings before finally being killed.

An ICC statement tells: “As difficult and sorrowful as it is to learn more, we believe that we must expose the truly hellish nature of this attack for what it is.”

On Easter Sunday, five of the killers had been to a service that one of the victims, Pastor Necati, had arranged in the city of Malatya. The men were known to the believers as “seekers”.

These young men, one of whom is the son of a mayor in the Province of Malatya, are part of a tarikat, or a group of “faithful believers” in Islam, ICC has learned.

“Tarikat membership is highly respected; it’s like a fraternity membership,” ICC has stated. “In fact, it is said that no one can get into public office without membership in a tarikat.”

On the day of the killing, the young Muslim men had arranged to meet the Christians at 10 am to learn more about the Bible.

“They had gathered guns, breadknives, ropes and towels – they knew there would be a lot of blood – ready for their act,” ICC said.[11]

The violence that is seen today in Turkey mirrors perfectly the Koran which begins by calling for tolerance of the Christians and Jews but ends with the cutting off of their heads.  Literally by the end of Mohammed’s life it was said of him that he met no person that he did not either kill or convert.  Further even in the United States what most people are not aware of is the threat moderate Islam poses.  There is really no such thing as moderate Islam because the doctrine of abrogation, a doctrine stating that later suras are to override and supercede earlier ones, means that the peaceful loving sections are abrogated with the calls to “kill the infidel.”  This is an obvious fact for any religious Muslim and leaves the Muslim either believing in a violent religion of war or a bipolar religion making no sense.  This fact was brought out during a Fox News interview with the Son of Hamas, a man recently converted to Christianity who is speaking out against Islam and Hamas.  Further, in the ecumenical stage that is being set here in the United States and Europe many have no idea that the Muslim spokespersons can lie with a clear conscience to the infidels giving them incentive to promote the peacefulness of Islam which is simply not real.  When Islam is followed the people that have religious freedom will see themselves under attack.  Take the following shocking example:

In a bizarre show of Turkish nationalism, a young Muslim here took a Christian Turk at knife point, draped his head with the national flag and threatened to slit the throat of the “missionary dog” in broad daylight earlier this week.  Yasin Karasu, 24, held Ýsmail Aydýn, 35, hostage for less than half an hour on Monday (Aug. 3) in a busy district on the Asian side of Istanbul in front of passersby and police who promptly came to the scene.  “This is Turkey, and you can’t hand out gospels,” he yelled, according to the daily newspaper Haberturk. “These godless ones without the true book are doing missionary work.”  About 99 percent of Turkey’s population is at least nominally Muslim, and in the popular mindset the religion is strongly connected with being Turkish.  Karasu threatened to slit Aydin’s throat if anyone came near him and commanded those watching to give him a Turkish flag. Within minutes, Aydin told Compass, bystanders produced two flags. Karasu, who has known Aydin for a year, wrapped the larger of the two flags around Aydin’s head, making it difficult for him to breathe in heat that reached the low 30s Celsius (90s F) this week.  “Do you see this missionary dog?” he yelled at the crowd. “He is handing out gospels and he is breaking up the country!”  Karasu placed the smaller flag in Aydin’s hand and commanded him to wave it.  “Both flags came at the same time,” Aydin told Compass. “The big one he put very tightly over my head, and in the heat I couldn’t breathe.”  The whole time Karasu held a large knife to Aydin’s throat.  “You missionary dogs, do you see this flag?” he said, commanding Aydin to wave the flag. “This is a holy flag washed in the blood of our fathers.”  Aydin said he told Karasu, “Yasin, in any case this flag is mine as well! I’m a Turk too, but I’m a Christian.”  Karasu insisted that Aydin was not a Turk because he had betrayed the Turkish flag and country by his evangelism, according to Aydin.  Aydin said he told Karasu, “No, Yasin, I’m a Turk and I’m waving this flag with love. This is my flag. I’m a Turk.” He said Karasu replied, “No, you can’t be – you are breaking up the country, and I won’t allow it.”  Police managed to convince Karasu to put down the knife and release Aydin, telling him that if he killed the convert Turkey would be ridiculed around the world, and that as a last resort they were authorized to shoot to kill him.[12]

It is clear that Turkey is central in its power and radical in its movement.  With 98 percent of the country being Muslim it seems clear that this is an area of great evangelical need.

Missions in Turkey Today

In light of these stories is difficult to ascertain the realistic mission work going on in Turkey today.  For example, when the story of the young Muslim from Hamas previously mentioned came public with his story there were assurances passed around in the Southern Baptist circles that “we have stuff going on in turkey right now shhh.”   This is all well and good but it leaves one with the real problem of not knowing what impact if any that is being felt there from the missions work.  One evangelical spokesman in turkey had this to say:

“Actually, the state might be secular, but it’s not making that distinction in its activities,” said Isa Karatas, spokesman for Turkey’s perhaps 80 evangelical Protestant churches.  Until religious minorities succeeded in changing the law, Turkey required Christians and Jews to study Islam in the religion classes that are compulsory in Turkish schools from the fourth grade. The state has confiscated hundreds of church properties, only recently returning portions under pressure from the European Union, which Turkey is trying to join.  With perhaps 100,000 Christians in a population of 70 million, Turkey officially tolerates and protects faiths other than Islam. Unlike Afghanistan, which last month threatened to execute a Christian convert, the country has no laws barring Muslims from leaving the faith or against attempts to lure them away.  Yet Turkish police charged 293 people with “missionary activity” from 1998 to 2001, a state minister told parliament recently. People who place calls to Christian groups operating inside Turkey are warned against uttering the word “missionary” on an open phone line.[13]

Olson brings light to the fact that the problem faced in these areas is whether to try to reach Muslims through the dead Armenian, Coptic, or Syrian churches or whether to start over.[14] Today with many missionaries going into the region as “tentmakers” there is word of indigenous churches starting but again this is hard to quantify.  Regardless of the specific numbers it is clear that this is an area not being impacted for Christ.

What Can Be Done?

The irony of the whole contention of this paper is that one of the very places Paul began, Ephesus, is where this paper believes we ought to begin again. Ephesus which is located near the Aegean Sea in modern day Turkey, was one of the great cities of the Greeks in Asia Minor and home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.  Today, the ruins of Ephesus are a major tourist attraction, especially for travelers on Mediterranean cruises.[15] According to the Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary:

Paul first visited Ephesus on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:19). He also spent between two and three years of his third journey in Ephesus (Acts 19:8–10; 20:31). He left the city during a riot caused by silver craftsmen who felt their religion and trade were being threatened (Acts 19:24–28; 20:1). Paul later visited with the Ephesian elders at Miletus on his journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:17–38).

The city ranked with Alexandria and Antioch of Syria as one of the most important cities of the eastern Mediterranean Roman world. It was a port city located on the Cayster River, three miles from the Aegean. It was an important city commercially as the starting place of a great overland trade route to the east.

Ephesus was the worship center of the Greek goddess Artemis (Diana in Latin). The temple of Artemis was 340 feet long, 160 feet wide, and richly decorated with 100 columns more than 55 feet high. The city was the guardian of the sacred image of Artemis, which was believed to have fallen from heaven (Acts 19:35).[16]

When Paul began making converts in numbers he saw them burning their books of magic in the streets an act literally turning Ephesus upside down (Acts 19).  This paper is not arguing specifically for Ephesus as the exact spot but the idea that Paul went to the center of power in Turkey and spread the Gospel from there to the rest of the world.  This is the same technique he used in reaching the world from Rome and today it remains the best way of reaching the many unevangelized Muslims.  Begin the center of influence and spread the furthest the fastest.  Interesting Paul describes the conflict in this area for the Gospel and in Revelation we see Paul praise this church for standing doctrinally strong in the midst of serious cultural pressure to depart.  Where is the Ephesian church today?  This paper believes it remains to be planted!

What is the solution?  Planting churches through Muslim converts who are equipped prayed for and encouraged.  One of the best ways to spread the Gospel in Turkey is through mass media like television and radio.  Currently Muslims in areas like Turkey are accepting Christ in large numbers secretly.  The problem is that Islam is a way of life and these secret believers are afraid to come out about their faith.  According to Mosab Hassan Yousef the son of one of the founders of Hamas Islam is crumbling from the inside out.  He claims that Islam has no ability to argue for its own merit but by the sword.  The regular Joe Muslim cannot even read the Koran.  For starters it is written in Old Arabic a language not spoken today and so many in the Islamic faith get their belief much the same way that those in the middle ages received theirs, priests told them what to believe.  For the past fourteen hundred years Islam was able to hold its believers captive by keeping out any influence from the outside but today almost any modern Muslim can turn on their computer and get just about any information they want.  At this point the lack of coherence in Islam is being exposed for what it is and the perception of strength is just that.  In fact, according to Yousef, a personal friend, Islam is being torn apart from the inside out by its own inconsistencies.  The polarizing of the Islamic community is a reaction to this and must be seen in some ways as the death throes of a false religion, he claims.  If a Muslim comes out about their faith they could face persecution of many types and this is truly a scary prospect.  It is imperative however that Muslims stand up about their new faith and face what comes.  At this point those having the ability to support Muslims through their lives and witness ought to be willing to stand with them.  To begin Muslims here in the United States ought to be encouraged to tell their families of their new faith in Jesus and they must be accepted publicly and without fear by local churches wherever they are found.  The church cannot hide it must be public in its stand and light.  This paper is radically calling for the possible persecution of many but it is the very way Martin Luther King sought to change things here in the United States.

In many respects this whole issue needs to be on the minds and hearts of Christians from America because it is from here that so many of the world’s missionaries are sent.  If the common American Christian is not really aware of the real need for prayer and financial assistance needed they cannot be expected to mobilize.  It is then the job of Pastors and sending agencies to be bold in their cry for Muslim outreach.  Turkey is ripe for the harvest are we willing to go?

What You Need to Know About Islam and the Bible (John Hagee)

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What You Need to Know About Islam and the Bible

Friday, 21 August 2009 11:23 AM EDT John Hagee
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There comes a time in a nation’s historyand there comes a time in the churchwhen spiritual fog and religious deception must be removed by a clear, unbiased, passionate pursuit of truth. America and the church are now in a spiritual fog over the issue of Islam.

But Islam and Christianity are not “sister faiths,” and a side-by-side examination of the texts of the Bible and the Quran will quickly identify some of the differences related to Islam’s teachings about Christ and the truths of our own Bible about the Son of God.

Islam instructs its followers to kill their enemies, but Christianity in-structs its followers to love their enemies.

The Quran says to “fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them” (Surah 9:5). But our Holy Bible tells Christ’s followers to: “Love your ene-mies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44, KJV).

Islam denies Christianity’s core truth-the death and resurrection of Jesus.

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;but they did not kill him, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they did not kill him. Surah 4:157

Islam says that Jesus did not die on the cross. The Bible says that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead.

Islam also denies the deity of Jesus Christ.

The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the Son of Allah. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! Surah 9:30

Not only does the Quran deny Christ’s deity-but also, as we see in the verse from the Quran above, it puts a curse on all who confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Islam brings Jesus Christ lower than Muhammad, making him no more than a messenger:

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah makes His Signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! Surah 5:75

Since there are such marked differences in these areas between Islam and Christianity, we must be prepared to test the “truth” of each. History has re-vealed to us that the Islamic Bible, the Quran, is a collection of the revela-tions Muhammad said he was given by an angel, or from a voice coming down from heaven, or sometimes as a message from a dream. Christians are commanded to “try the spirits” to see if they are from God:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Anti-christ, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3

Every person who calls himself a prophet must be tested by Scripture. (See 1 Corinthians 14:29.)

Every revelation and every prophecy must be judged by the Word of God. If it is not scripturalif it denies Jesus Christ as the Son of God-it is the spirit of the Antichrist.

By applying these tests to the teachings of Muhammad, we will quickly discover that this prophet doesn’t pass the test. From Genesis to Revelation, every page of the Bible testifies of the deity of Jesus Christ. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

In Germany It Is Better to Be A Muslim than a Baptist (Thomas Landen)

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In Germany It Is Better to Be a Muslim than a Baptist

From the desk of Thomas Landen on Fri, 2009-08-14 09:52

The Federal Republic of Germany is a democracy. It is no fun, however, to be a Baptist in Germany. For the past two decades, the German authorities have been clamping down on Baptists who want to raise their children in accordance with their own religious principles. In Germany, the state rather than the parents is considered to be primarily responsible for the well-being of children. Hence, the draconic measures taken against Baptists. When, however, it comes to meeting the demands of Muslim the German state is far more lenient.

In 1938, Germany outlawed homeschooling. The ban is one of the few bills introduced by Adolf Hitler that is still on the books in Germany today. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of ethnic German families from Southern Russia and Kazakhstan emigrated to Germany. Many of them were Baptists who had been fiercely persecuted in the Soviet Union for their religious beliefs.

Following their arrival in the West, the Baptists soon became unhappy with what their children were learning in the secular German public schools. They decided to homeschool their children. This move led to fierce repression by the German authorities who took the parents to court on charges of “Hochverrat und Volksverhetzung” (high treason and incitement of the people against the authorities). Some parents were imprisoned, some were robbed of their parental authority, some had their children taken away from them. Some children who sided with their parents, such as 16-year old Melissa Busekros in 2007, were placed in a psychiatric ward because, as the psychiatric evaluation report stated, she “considers herself healthy and her behavior fully normal” and, hence, needed “urgent help in a closed setting” where she would get “special education treatment to ensure schooling.” Some families, having fled from the Soviet Union at one time, fled again, from the Federal Republic of Germany to Austria, Britain, or other countries with a more lenient approach to homeschooling. Some parents, however, complied with ‘Hitler’s law’ and reluctantly sent their children to school.

Two years ago, a Baptist couple from Eastern Westphalia kept their two sons, then 9- and 8-years old, home from school on two specific days, namely when the school was going to take them to a sex-education theatre play called “Mein Körper gehört mir” (My Body Belongs to Me) and when the school was having a carnival party. The authorities immediately clamped down on the parents and took them to court. Following two convictions of the couple, the case made its way up to the Bundesverfassungsgericht, Germany’s Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the highest court in the land, which last week also convicted them.

On 11 August, Germany’s Supreme Court ruled that “the religious conviction of a minority” is subordinated to “a contradictory tradition of a differently inclined majority,” even when the latter tradition is incompatible with the religious principles of the minority. The Court sentenced the parents to a fine of 80 euros because on two occasions they had violated their legal obligation to have their children attend school. The Court stated that the right of religious freedom of the parents does not take precedence over article 7, par. 1 of the German Constitution which explicitly states that “The entire education system is under the supervision of the state.” The Court declared that “Consequently, the paternal right to raise children is restricted, in a constitutionally permissible way, by the concretization of the state’s obligation to ensure a universal duty to compulsive school attendance.”

The relentlessness with which the German authorities consistently clamp down on Baptists who want to raise their children according to their own Christian beliefs, contrasts strongly with the leniency of the same authorities towards Muslims. While forcing 8-year olds to attend plays such as “My Body Belongs to Me” can only be considered a fairly recent “tradition” of the Germans, eating sausages and other types of pork definitely is an old German tradition. Nevertheless, in the past years, several public German schools have removed the traditional pork dishes from their menus. Last year the Käthe-Kollwitz-Schule in Minden announced that it was introducing halal food for everyone “to ensure that also Muslim children can have lunch at school.” Though the measure was clearly taken with regard to “the religious convictions of a minority” and went against the “contradictory tradition of a differently inclined majority,” the German authorities did not clamp down on the school, nor on the parents who had been demanding halal lunches for their kids.

While Baptist children are being forced to attend carnival parties at school, a 1993 German court ruling stated that “as long as separate sports classes for boys and girls are not being offered” Muslim girls do not have to participate in the obligatory sports sessions at school. The parents of the girls had explicitly invoked Koranic prescriptions to object to their daughters participating in the co-ed sports classes. Strangely enough, the German school authorities did not appeal the 1993 court ruling and failed to bring the case to the Supreme Court. Instead, they accepted the ruling, which has since become a legal precedent accepted by all school authorities.

Likewise, last May a court in Münster ruled that, though Muslim schoolgirls are obliged to participate in school swimming lessons, they are allowed to wear so-called “burqini” swimsuits that cover their entire body and hide their figures. Wearing the burqini has never been a “tradition” of the majority in Germany – a country with a long tradition of Freikörperkultur or nude sports activities. On the contrary, it is a practice which results from “the religious convictions of a minority” which is less indigenous to Germany than Christian Baptists. Nevertheless, the German school authorities have accepted the Munster ruling. They have not taken the case to the Supreme Court in order to have Muslim children forced to swim in regular swimsuits. Muslim children do not have to comply with the “contradictory tradition of a differently inclined majority” in the same way as Baptist children, whose parents are fined if they do not attend the school carnival.

The difference in treatment of the so-called fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims by the German secular school authorities and courts gives rise to the suspicion that in contemporary Europe some religious minorities are “more equal” than others. While Christians are prosecuted and fined, Muslims are appeased. It makes one wonder if the school authorities would also have prosecuted if, instead of the sons of a Baptist couple, the 8- and 9-years old daughters of a Muslim couple had been kept from school on the day of the sex-ed school play?

The answer to this question is probably “No.” Baptists are a peaceful minority, who want to be left alone and live according to their own values without trying to impose these values on others. Muslim fundamentalists are aggressive and demand that everyone live according to their values. Saying “No” to Baptist demands is not a security risk for a school; saying “No” to Muslim demands is. The German school authorities are well aware of this. Three years ago, the teachers of the Rütli-Hauptschule in the Berlin borough of Neukölln, asked the authorities to close down their school in order to protect them and the native German students who suffered threats and physical violence by Muslim students. Following the appeal of the staff at Rütli College several other schools in Berlin and other German cities complained that they were facing similar problems.

Meanwhile, despite the Baptists’ hatred of German schools, Baptist violence against German school authorities is a non-existing phenomenon. Perhaps this explains why Baptists are bullied, prosecuted and fined by the German authorities, while the same authorities grovel to Muslims with ludicrous demands such as burqini swimsuits. On the other hand, if anyone ever opposes Muslim thugs who want to impose Islamic law on others, it will more likely be the Baptists, who – non-violently but firmly – will defend their own values, than the representatives of the German secularist establishment.

Christian carer struck off after Muslim girl converts

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A Christian foster carer has been struck off because she allowed a Muslim child in her care to convert to Christianity.

The girl, in her late teens, was interested in exploring Christianity before she was placed with the foster carer.

But when the girl decided she wanted to be baptised, council officials said her carer had failed in her duty to preserve the girl’s religion and should have used her influence to prevent the baptism from going ahead.

They said the girl should stay away from church for six months, and later struck the carer off the fostering register.

The carer, who has over ten years experience looking after more than 80 children, is now challenging the local authority’s decision.

Her case is being backed by The Christian Institute’s legal defence fund. Neither the carer nor the girl can be named for legal reasons.

The carer is a practising Christian, and made it clear to the girl when she arrived that she could continue to practice her Muslim faith if she wanted to.

In assessments before the baptism, the authorities said the girl’s emotional needs were being met, and noted that the carer was showing understanding and respect for the girl’s culture.

The carer’s lawyers say there was no evidence that the change in the girl’s religion would harm her, and argue that the authorities failed to listen to the girl’s views.

The carer, an Anglican who attends a local evangelical church, said: “I did initially try to discourage her.

“I offered her alternatives. I offered to find places for her to practise her own religion. I offered to take her to friends or family. But she said to me from the word go, ‘I am interested and I want to come.’ She sort of burst in.”

The carer said that the girl’s social workers were fully aware that she was going to church and had not raised any objections.

The girl had told her auxiliary social worker of her plans to convert before she was baptised in January last year, and the social worker had appeared to give her consent.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “All people should be free to change or modify their religious beliefs. That surely must be a core human right in any free society.

“I cannot imagine that an atheist foster carer would be struck off if a Christian child in her care stopped believing in God. This is the sort of double standard which Christians are facing in modern Britain.

“In recent months we have seen grandparents, a nurse, adoption agencies, firemen, registrars, elderly care homes – and now a foster carer – being punished because of the Christian beliefs they hold. It has to stop.”

The carer’s solicitor Nigel Priestley said: “There is no doubt that the event that provoked the council was the decision by the girl to be baptised.

“This girl was 16 and has the right to make this choice, so for the council to react in this way is totally disproportionate. Even at this late hour, we hope that the council will resolve the issue.”

A council spokesman said: ‘From the details provided, we believe that this information relates to a child who is the subject of a final care order in favour of the council. In those circumstances, we are unable to pass any comment.”

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