Persecution in Turkey – From Polycarp to Fikret Böcek
By Simonetta Carr - Posted at Place for Truth:
If it’s true, as the ancient Tertullian said, that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church,” much seed has been sown on Turkish soil, from the 2nd-century martyrdom of Polycarp to the massacre of Christian Armenians in 1915 (where 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives). And these are only the most notorious cases. In Turkey, persecution against Christians has spanned centuries, perpetrated first by the Romans and then by the Muslims. In fact, it’s still happening today. In every case, the justification is political: Christians are enemies of the state.
A Turkish Pastor Under Fire
A 1998 graduate of Westminster Seminary in California, Turkish-born Fikret Böcek moved back to his country in 2001 to plant a confessional Reformed church in Izmir – the ancient Smyrna, the persecuted city of Revelation 2:8-11, where bishop Polycarp famously died for his faith.
From the start, Böcek aimed to make his church completely visible and open to all. He knew the risks. He had already been arrested soon after his conversion to Christianity in 1987...