06/07/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkey’s e-State government portal recently introduced a new feature allowing citizens to change their religion online. Previously, citizens had to apply with the General Directorate of Civil Registration and Nationality to change the religion on official government records.
Three years ago, Turkey had removed religious affiliation from identification cards. But as this recent announcement shows, Turkey continues to require citizens to have a religious affiliation on official documents. This creates a number of challenges for Christians. Jobs can still be difficult to obtain. Muslim Background Believers often report challenges when asking for their children to abstain from Islamic classes in the public schools. Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christians face rampant discrimination.
Turkey is a constitutionally secular country that is governed by a ruling party who defines itself through Islam. This contradiction within the politics is felt across every aspect of society in Turkey. It puts Christians in an uncomfortable position, and they are often targeted by both Islamists and nationalists.