By Christine Darg,

Jerusalem Channel

Since the failed coup in Turkey against President Recep Erdogan, we are increasingly concerned about the purges that are going on, the arrests, torture and increasingly Islamization.

Pray for the church in Turkey!

Pray for women who previously had some freedoms in the secular society that is quickly eroding.

According to numerous sources, thousands of coup prisoners in Turkey, a NATO ally, have been raped, starved and hogtied– press photos have been horrendous.

The ancient Bible land of Turkey, sometimes called the “forgotten Holy Land,” is today increasingly under Islamic control. Many Bible teachers and prophecy watchers believe that current events are preparing for the ominous alliance of Russian and Islamic nations that will come against Israel in the latter days, as envisioned by Ezekiel 38-39. If that is the case, let us pray for maximum souls to be saved through satellite tv, internet and other means in the window of opportunity that remains.

The current unrest cannot bode well for the Body of Messiah–followers of Jesus are less than 0.1% of the population of 72 million.

Yet Turkey, a land that I dearly love, is the land of St. Paul, Antioch, Ephesus, Galatia and the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation.

There are great concerns that one of the most magnificent Christian basilicas, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, could again be turned into a mosque.

On the last Friday of Ramadan this year, the Muslim call to prayer was sung in the main sanctuary of the Hagia Sophia, setting off alarm bells in the Christian world. This hasn’t happened in more than 80 years.

Built by the Byzantines in the 6th century, Hagia Sophia became a mosque in the 15th century after Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans under Sultan Mehmed II.

“The first thing he did, by the way, after conquering Constantinople was to go to Hagia Sophia and take an axe and break down the Christian altar there to prove that another faith had taken over,” according to Dr. Paul Maier, author of The Constantine Codex.

Here is the latest alarming headline: Christians pay price as Turkey turns to Islam after attempted coup The Daily Express article uncovered how the power struggle has paved the way for a more extreme form of Islam. Since the night of the failed coup, imams have been chanting a prayer that is usually reserved to announce a death, as a rally call.

In Matalya, a sprawling city in Anatolia, once the heartland of Christianity in the East, a Protestant church was targeted. Gangs chanting “Allahu akbar” rounded on it to smash its glass frontage. But “church” is a grand term for the insignificant shopfront nestled in the city’s minority Alevi district. Despite a tolerant constitution, Protestants are not allowed to build churches in Turkey. Even the name church must be coupled to the non-threatening “association.”

In the Black Sea city of Trabzon others attacked the Santa Maria church, smashing windows and using hammers to break down its door.

On behalf of the body of Messiah in Turkey, church leaders are requesting that we pray Proverbs 11: 11
“By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted….” Proverbs 11:11

They have also requested:

– Pray the Lord will display His love and mercy to the people of Turkey by pouring out His Holy Spirit upon our land, revealing His glory through healings, signs and wonders. [Truly in his love and mercy, the Lord continues to move supernaturally in the Muslim world despite the bad press of the terrorists. Just yesterday in Jerusalem a Muslim friend of mine who had undergone an ordeal of operation and chemotherapy said that the risen Lord Jesus visited his hospital bedside, held his hand and comforted him.]

– Pray the Lord breaks down the endless disinformation about Messiah, the Bible and Christians that has blinded and hardened hearts in our land. Pray that God redeems the negative memories of history.

–Pray that hearts and eyes are opened to see Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.

–Pray for the Turkish believers who are always on the frontline to walk close to the Lord. Pray for refreshing, emboldening, strengthening, protection and encouragement.

–Pray for more servant-hearted leaders and faithful laborers.

Furthermore, for your prayers on behalf of oppressed women, the Gatestone Institute recently reported that in Turkey the head of a department of the Supreme Court of Appeals has revealed that nearly 3,000 marriages were registered between the victims of sexual abuse, including rape, and their assailants. The judge mentioned a particular case in which three men kidnapped and raped a girl, then one of them married her, so the sentences for all three men were lifted. Instead of passing legislation to amend grotesque articles in the penal code, Erdogan prefers “family engineering” in line with his Islamist thinking, according to the Gatestone Institute source.

Most recently Erdogan told a women’s association that “family planning and contraception were not for Muslim families.” In addition, Turkey’s First Lady, Emine Erdogan, shocked many when she said that Ottoman-era harems were “educational enters that prepared women for life.”

In 2015, Turkey ranked 130th in gender equality among a group of 145 countries and we are not surprised since Erdogan had objected to equality between the sexes as a concept “against nature.”