Baptists in Turkey form first national alliance of churches

Though the nation has a long Christian heritage, few adherents of the faith live there now.

By Eron Henry

Just over two months before the Baptist World Alliance holds its annual gathering in Turkey, Baptists in that country have formed their first national organization of churches.

Four Baptist congregations formed the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Turkey, electing officers and setting goals. The group aims to encourage member churches, explain the teachings of Baptists, develop Baptist leaders, highlight church needs and strengthen believers by organizing seminars, camps and conferences.

Turkey has a long Christian heritage dating to the early Church, but Christians are now a minority. An estimated 120,000 Christians live in Turkey, out of a population of more than 76 million. That includes only a few thousand Protestants. Sunni Islam is the majority religion.

The BWA annual gathering is set for July 6-12 in Izmir, Turkey.