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Wave of expulsions shakes Turkey’s tiny Protestant community

Dozens of foreign Protestant missionaries have been forced to leave Turkey based on intelligence reports classifying them as security risks.
American pastor Andrew Brunson.
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Nearly 200 foreign Protestant clergy and their families, including many Americans, have been forced to leave Turkey since a severe crisis between Ankara and Washington over the imprisonment of a US pastor in 2018. Members of Turkey’s tiny Protestant community describe a pattern of expulsions, based on secret reports by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), with no explanation why the deported Protestants constitute a security risk for the country. 

Thirty-five foreign Protestants were deported in 2019, 20 more in 2020 and another 13 in 2021, according to a report by the Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey, released last week. The missionaries left the country with their spouses and children, which brings the number to 185. 

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