“Ismail Falahati is a Muslim-born Christian convert,” which means that he is unwelcome in Turkey and faces imprisonment in Iran. The Iranian government treats converts from Islam to Christianity with particular harshness; the Turkish government is undoubtedly aware of this, and yet is denying Falahatis’s formal request for asylum and preparing to send him back to meet his fate. This is yet more evidence of the Turkish government’s ever-increasingly hostility to the Christian faith, as evidenced most particularly by its ongoing harassment and denial of basic rights to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“Iranian Christian Family Faces Deportation from Turkey,” International Christian Concern, September 6, 2019:
09/06/2019 Iran (International Christian Concern) – Over the past few days, as cogs slowly turn in the machines of Turkey’s government, an order for the deportation a Persian pastor and his family, presently seeking asylum, back to Iran is being assembled.
Pastor Ismail Falahati is a Muslim-born Christian convert, as of age 23, and has worked in Iran and Turkey for the past few years as a house church planter and self-starting missionary. He worked originally in Tehran and the surrounding area, planting private house churches and conducting clandestine services for the Christians of the local area. However, following a bust by Persian police forces and his arrest, he was subjected to over a month of genuinely torturous imprisonment by the state for his beliefs and actions.
After his imprisonment, he and his family departed Iran for Turkey. There, Ismail continued his proselytizing work and has to this day been serving the continuation of the church in the area. During this time, for over three years, Ismail has been lobbying the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for assistance in being formally granted asylum, to no success. To make matters worse, the Turkish government recently discovered his Christian background and activities and are moving to evict him from the nation.
Ismail has received a number of threats recently against himself and his family if they should return, willingly or not, to Persia….