Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Turkey: Attacked Turkish Pastor Told to Accept Islam or Die, Joins Memorial Service for Slain Christians

Turkey: Attacked Turkish Pastor Told to Accept Islam or Die, Joins Memorial Service for Slain Christians

Compass Direct News – “After a memorial service for three Christians who were murdered in Malatya, Turkey five years ago today, an Istanbul pastor who was attacked over Easter weekend said he’s experienced hostility from Muslims nearly all his life.

Semir Serkek, 58, pastor of Grace Church in Istanbul’s Bahcelievler district, said he personally knew Turkish converts to Christianity Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Christian Tilmann Geske, who were brutally murdered by five young men in the southeastern city of Malatya on April 18, 2007.

‘I looked at their fate with some envy, because they were young and I am old, but they left – I have gone through many things,’ he said. ‘But they were so young, so young.’

On a day when memorial services were held for the three slain Christians in Malatya, Izmir and Elazig as well as the ones Serkek attended at both the Kozyatag Cultural Center and Gedikpasha Church in Istanbul, the pastor said the physical violence on him the evening (April 7) before Easter Sunday surprised him.

‘I’ve been verbally abused for being a Christian many times, but this was the first time I was hit, so this was surprising and made me sad,’ Serkek said.

Serkek was alone at Grace Church finishing preparations for the next day’s Easter celebration when at around 9 p.m. he heard frantic pounding at the door, he said. Opening it, he found four young men in their late teens who claimed they had questions and demanded to enter.

The men, whom Serkek said appeared to be about 18 years old, were agitated, and when he refused to let them in they used insulting language, he said. They threatened to kill him if he didn’t recite the Islamic testimony of faith.

‘This made me uneasy, and I told them that this was a church and they should come back in the morning,’ Serkek told Compass. ‘‘This is a Muslim neighborhood, what business does a church have here?’ they asked me, and told me again and again that if I didn’t accept the final religion I would die.'” Read more.

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