Congregation anxious after verbal assault, threats, and a lunge with a knife.
July 15, 2014
ISTANBUL, Turkey (Morning Star News) Members of a Catholic church in Istanbul fear an attack after Muslims verbally assaulted and threatened them during a baptismal service and destroyed church property in the last two months.
After two incidents at St. Stephanos Church, parishioners said they are waiting to see if hostilities will escalate into violence during what remains of Ramadan, when religious persecution has been known to increase in Muslim-majority areas. The annual Ramadan, an Islamic month of day-time fasting, ends in Turkey on July 28.
The two previous attacks have caused some members of an already small congregation to stop participating in services, at least temporarily. In May a group of young men under cover of darkness destroyed audio equipment, stole other items and set a fire in the building, and on June 15 Muslim intruders pushed their way into the baptismal service and yelled obscenities, with one brandishing a knife and threatening to stab a parishioner.