Turkey’s Association of Protestant Churches published its annual report revealing that hate speech against Christians in the country has increased in both conventional and social media, Hurriyet reports.

According to the 2016 Rights Violations Report, hate speech against Protestants persisted throughout 2016, in addition to physical attacks on Protestant individuals and their churches. It noted that hate speech reached extreme levels during the Christmas season.

“In one school a baptism document was verbally demanded. The use of the exemption right [from religion classes] is becoming more difficult day by day,” stated the report.

The report said hate speech against Christians was conveyed through billboard advertisements, posters, leaflets, and online. There was even an amateur theatrical street play where a group of men wearing traditional costumes held another man dressed as Santa Claus at gunpoint. Unfortunately, the government seems to dismiss this anti-Christian bigotry.

The Association of Protestant Churches also cited several incidents of institutional discrimination against Christians in schools. Cases are occurring in which Christian and Jewish students are forced to recite the Shahada, or Islamic profession of faith, and attend Islamic schooling despite being registered as non-Muslims, Breitbart reports.

“In one school a baptism document was verbally demanded. The use of the exemption right [from religion classes] is becoming more difficult day by day,” stated the report. The 2016 report added that many students had been bullied by classmates due to their faith and were encouraged to convert to Islam.

Sources:
Hurriyetdailynewscom. (2017). Harriyet Daily News. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/christians-in-turkey-subjected-to-rising-hate-speech-protestant-church-report-.aspx?pageID=238

Breitbartcom. (2017). Breitbart. http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/02/01/report-hate-speech-christians-turkey-rise/

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