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The Bible Correspondence Course (BCC) based in Istanbul Turkey has been going for 50 years now, a lot has happened in the time since it was set up in 1962. From its beginnings of sending out letters to addresses listed in the Istanbul telephone directory asking Muslims, "Have you ever read the Incil?" To the years following and up until the present day.  A wide range of Incils,  literature and DVDs are made available to enquirers seeking answers to questions they have about Jesus, faith and God.  Muslims cannot understand the mystery of believers having  a relationship with the 'living God,' as their faith is based on ritual.

This way of reaching Muslims in Turkey has worked very well for most of the 50 years the BCC has existed, but it is very much a ‘print based culture’. Over the last couple of years it has become more and more obvious that there is a real need to change the emphasis more towards a digital culture which aims to engage people through pictures and video, some people would say this is an agnostic responsive method of moving forward!

In layman’s terms, photos and video that aim to get a response to the questions the subject is asking. Today the BCC’s Turkish websites and it’s Facebook page which has something in excess of 31,000 ‘likes or followers!'  They have reached these figures, which will hopefully continue to grow by producing material which questions how and what people think about faith in God.  

In 2012 the BCC ran an advertising campaign which did just that, it asked Muslims the question about their beliefs “Ya yanlış Biliyorsak” (“What if what we believe is false?”) and through it the BCC certainly got a response! It wasn’t always the response we were looking for, but it certainly challenged Turkish people and what they believe.

Now with the advances in technology we are able to reach not just people using “Facebook and Twitter”, but mobile phones, Ipads in fact a full range electronic receiving devices where we can ‘tailor’ the content and size of the message which is sent out. I suppose it is a bit like being measured for a suit, its custom built to each individual user.

So in the coming years the BCC will continue to move away from print based projects, and instead develop the online correspondence course, while also producing more thought provoking photos and short video clips which will impact Muslims, not just in Turkey but across the world, who are seeking to know more about Jesus, the Saviour who was born to them and died to save them.

Pray that God will provide the right people, webpage and graphic designers along with translators to work on these projects.

Pray that God will give wisdom and insight to staff at the BCC as they seek to reach out to Muslims across the globe.

Pray that God will provide funding for the various programmes being developed.

Pray that God will continue to pour out “dreams and visions” on the people of Turkey.


Have you ever thought why the growth in the number of Turkish believers in Christ is so slow? In the last 50 years the number of known Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) has gone from 2 in the early 1960’s to around 4000 in 2012.

The population of Turkey is currently around 75 million, so 4000 believers does not seem like a great amount, especially when you look at the growth in Iran or even Kazakhstan where over the last 20 years growth has gone from a few thousand to about 100.000 yet the population of Kazakhstan is only 17 million. 

So what is it that is stopping Turks coming into relationship with our Father God? Is it really just that Turkish people see Christianity solely as a western religion? There is the famous saying “To be a Turk is to be a Muslim, to be a Muslim is to be a Turk”. So maybe they are happy following Islam and we should let them get on with? But if we do that we would not be following Christ’s command of going out and making disciples!!

Or maybe there is another reason? I have heard people say that when they have travelled overland through Turkey on their way to maybe Syria, or Iran and beyond, they shared that while they were in Turkey they sensed oppressiveness over the country and yet as soon as they left that oppressiveness disappeared. Another reason for the slow growth could be that people have not heard or understood?

During the time I have been in Turkey I have met with many Turkish believers and have come to recognise those who have really grasped the message of salvation, because it is obvious in their faces. I am not saying they walk round with a “holier than thou look”, but their faces glow because they have found rich treasure!!

So what do we do or what needs to happen? Over the last 50 years so many seeds have been sown and yet it appears few have taken root and grown. Maybe God isn’t interested in Turkey and its people because they are so stubborn and will not listen to his voice? I don’t believe that line of thought, but in the world of today where we look for instant solutions, we want it to happen now!

I firmly believe that there will be a great harvest amongst Turkish people; it will not be through my efforts or yours, but through the giver of life, our Father God! All we can do is continue to petition the Father to pour out his Holy Spirit on the land and lift this oppressiveness that hangs over the country, open the eyes hearts and minds of the people.

We still need to play our part of the “great commission” and get out there in the cities, towns and villages. Praying for people, proclaiming the message of salvation together with Turkish believers, showing the people that a Saviour has been born to them.

Ultimately it is only our Father God who can nurture the seeds to grow and become “oaks of righteousness.”  When it happens it will be in His time and not ours!

 It’s sad to think that because Neceti Aydın and Uğur Yüksel, two Turkısh belıevers and their German co-workerTilman Geske took seriously Christ’s command of the “Great Commission” Matthew 28 vs. 18 – 20, in sharing the message of hope and salvation from God’s word with the people of Turkey in Malatya and beyond that the “Pray for Turkey” Day began.

The tragic events of 18th April 2007 in the Turkish city of Malatya when the three men were murdered by Muslıms claiming they were seekers to the Christian faith. Makes me realise that following Jesus is not an easy stroll in the park, in fact Jesus tells us more than once that the cost of following him may mean we surrender our lives, just like Neceti, Uğur and Tilman have done.

A couple of years ago, I heard about the testimony of a student in another Turkish city, but who was originally from Malatya who came to faith in Christ because of the testimony of one of the widows. It struck me that even in the face of tragedy the hope of salvation can bear fruit.

Now as we approach the 18th April 2013, now marked as “Pray for Turkey” Day let us remember Neceti, Uğur and Tilman and their families, but also as believers in the “Body of the Risen Christ” let us stand together and call on our Father God to pour out His Holy Spirit on this vast country, to open the eyes, hearts and minds of the people to the message of hope and salvation within God’s word.

Let them discover that a saviour has been born to them who seeks relationship, and not conflict with them. Let us carry on and take the message of hope into market places, tea houses and homes of the people of Turkey, just as Christ commanded us to do.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4 vs. 7 – 9.

Prayer Points

Pray for the blessing and peace of Turkey in general, as the Lord desires us to bless and be a blessing to all.

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.

Pray the Lord breaks down the lies and the endless disinformation about Christ, 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, for good role models, and for faithful labourers.

Pray for the on-going unity amongst the churches and for its increase and deepening.