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The Only Church In Turkish Town Faces Eviction

After the city council refused to allow a congregation to continue worshipping, the only church in the Turkish town is faced with eviction.

According to Middle East Concern (MEC), the authorities have given the worshippers until March 26 to leave the building which is the only Christian place of worship in the town in northwest Turkey.

The Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox congregations all share one building in the Bursa, known locally as “The French Church”.

For over a decade the Church has been home to around 200 people from four different congregations: German Catholic, Latin Catholic, Orthodox and Turkish Protestant, the persecution charity said in a statement.

MEC said; “After the Church leaders submitted an application to renew their permit to use the building for religious purposes, it was blocked by “an element within the city council.

“On February 18 an official from the building’s owner, the Directorate General of Foundations, informed congregants they must leave the building by March 23, a deadline later revised to March 26.”

The Church officials are in dialogue with the city council, which issues permits for buildings serving a religious purpose, and the Directorate General.

A spokesman from MEC said; “The pastor has been overwhelmed by the support of local citizens and national and local media”.

He added; “It would be very strange if the council resisted renewing the permit, but it could depend on the position and influence of the person(s) who might have been behind the original order to leave the premises.”

However, the Middle East Concern has asked supporters to pray that the discussions will be positive and those in the municipality who are causing difficulties will have a change of heart.

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