Date: January 31, 2013
Source: World Watch Monitor
Turkish police recently arrested 14 suspects who allegedly plotted to assassinate Pastor Emre Karaali of Izmit Protestant Church. Two of the suspects were members of the church. According to Turkish media reports, the murder was intended to take place earlier this year during a series of evangelistic outreach meetings.
Although the investigation remains ongoing, police have discovered that the suspects collected personal information including documents, maps of the church and the pastor's home, as well as photos of other preachers who came to the church. In addition to recorded telephone conversations, officers also found two guns in one of the homes they raided. When the network of suspects brought in someone from Diyarbakir (eastern Turkey) to carry out the murder, the anti-terror division became involved. Pastor Emre had been working with police since January 2012 after being repeatedly threatened. (To read further about the challenges believers face in Turkey, check www.persecution.net/turkey.htm.)
Emre and his wife have served the church for four years in an environment he describes as difficult: "Two years ago I almost lost my life because of my health, but the Lord brought me back to life and He has done this for me again. He protects us, so we believe this means the Lord has work for us to do. We haven't lost our confidence. On the contrary, we feel the Lord is with us because He didn't allow this (assassination) to happen, and we will continue to do what the Lord asks."
Like Pastor Emre Karaali, may we, too, continue to surrender ourselves to our Almighty Father's will. We ask for His ongoing protection on Emre and his family as they persist in doing the work our Lord has begun in and through their dedicated lives. May the hearts of people in this community also be touched by the power of God's transforming love.