The remaining Christians in Turkey celebrate Christmas while suffering from increasing persecution. From AKI (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Istanbul, 24 Dec. (AKI) – Turkey’s 100,000-strong Christian community was on Monday hoping that Christmas this year would pass uneventfully without further sectarian attacks such as that earlier this month against an Italian Catholic priest – the latest of several in little over a year.
As schools and offices in the overwhelmingly Muslim majority country will be open on Tuesday, 25 December will simply be a day that comes between Eid al-Adha (the Islamic festival of sacrifice) and the New Year celebrations.
Christmas trees decked in glass baubles and Christmas lights have been put up in some streets and shop windows. “These are signs of a blending of Christian and Muslim cultures that have nothing to do with the substance of Christmas,” Monsignor Luigi Padovese, apostolic vicar in Turkey, told Adnkronos International (AKI)
The knife attack by a Muslim youth last Sunday against an Italian Catholic priest, Adriano Franchini, in the Turkish port city of Izmir, has undoubtedly marred the festivities for Christians and left many in a sombre mood.