Turkey Deporting Foreign Christians or Banning Their Return, Sources Say

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Turkey Deporting Foreign Christians or Banning Their Return, Sources Say


JERUSALEM, August 3, 2020 (Morning Star News) – Dozens of foreign Christians in Turkey have been forced to leave the country or have been banned from returning in what appears to be government targeting of the Protestant Christian community, rights advocates say.

Many, like Carlos Madrigal of Spain, have been serving in leadership roles in Protestant churches in the country for years. Such foreigners have lived in the country for decades, forming families and buying property, according to a researcher at Middle East Concern (MEC).

Madrigal has lived in the country for more than 19 years on a clergy visa as the spiritual leader of the Istanbul Protestant Church Foundation (IPCF), according to a press statement from the group. At the airport in November 2019, he was issued a stamp in his passport that he realized would keep him from returning to Turkey if he left the country, so he decided to cancel his trip and appeal the decision, according to published reports.

Madrigal appeared on Turkish television in June to point out that he could see no clear reason why he was banned from the country, the MEC researcher said.

Noting that the ban against Madrigal was issued in November 2019, the IPCF stated, “It is with great sadness that we must inform you that since 2019, it has been made increasingly difficult for foreign Protestant clergy serving in Turkey to be resident in our…

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