The Arab Spring has spread through the Middle East leaving in its wake newly strong Islamic political parties which are ready to assume control of their nations. Turkey historically in the 20th century displayed respect for all religions since secular groups led the country. However, since the triumph of the government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, Turkey has been witnessing growing intolerance toward its Christian minority. Pastor Semih Serlek recounts the forced entry into his church by a group of Muslim youth who demanded that he recite Muslim prayers. Many pastors report harrassment of Christians by militants and failure of the government to protect non-Muslims.
Turkey is at a crossroads and its Muslim government must decide whether or not to respect those who are not Muslim. Denying the righ to build new churches, allowing militants to attack non-Muslims and displaying a lack of support for Christians will only exacerbate religious violence. It will also doom any chance to enter the European Union.