Faithful Preaching amid Persecution
An urgent phone call late Friday night from the security office had my wife, Buse, and me scared. They were requesting that I go immediately to the police station. When I arrived the next morning, I was directed to wait in a small, cool room. Two police officers began to ask strange questions in an unfriendly tone. Names, cities, telephone numbers—each question unrelated to the one before it. I was confused and told them I didn’t want to answer more questions if they weren’t going to explain what was going on. In the corridor, I called my lawyer and explained the situation. Finally, the police commander came and called me into his office and ordered tea for us. “Kerem,” he said, “we have received news from one of our informants of an assassination plot against you, and as a result we have begun to take some precautions.” I had been threatened a number of times before, as had other regional pastors. Moreover, a pastor friend, together with his other church leaders, had only a few years previously been tortured and killed. Still, the idea that someone was preparing to kill me for preaching the Word of God was quite a shock.