PRIEST LATEST VICTIM IN CHRISTIAN KILLINGS
A Roman Catholic bishop has been stabbed to death in southern Turkey. The incident marked the latest in a string of attacks on Christians since the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma, AKP) gained control of the government in 2002.
The AKP was formed and remains under the control of Fethullah Gulen, who has been called “the most dangerous Islamist on planet earth.”
Gulen, who has amassed more than $25 billion in financial assets, resides within a 45 acre fortress in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.
Bishop Luigi Padovese, the pope’s apostolic vicar in Anatolia, was attacked in his home in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun.
The suspected assassin is the bishop’s Muslim driver who had worked for him for the past four-and-a-half years.
NTV television said the priest had died in a hospital.
There was no immediate word from the Vatican.
Other attacks on Catholic clerics in Turkey have captured international headlines.killing is the latest in a string of attacks in recent years on Christians in Turkey, where Christians make up less than 1 percent of the 70 million population.
In February 2006, an Italian Catholic priest was shot to death in his church in Trabzon by a youth who was angered over the caricatures of the Muslim prophet in Danish newspapers.
In December 2007, a 19 year-old stabbed a Catholic priest outside a church in Izmir. According to newspaper reports, the Muslim assailant, who had been arrested, admitted that he had been influenced by a recent television program that depicted Christian missionaries as infiltrators who take advantage of Islamic people.
The same year, a group of men entered a Bible-publishing house in the central Anatolian city of Malatya and killed three Christians, including a German national.
The five alleged killers are now standing trial for murder.
The killings — in which the victims were tied up and had their throats slit — drew international condemnation and added to Western concerns about whether Turkey can protect its religious minorities.
Roman Catholics also have had their property confiscated by the government. Many of the churches have been transformed into mosques.
Christians in Turkey now constitute less than one half of one percent of the country’s population. 99% of the population are now Muslim – – 75% Sunni and 24% Shiite.
Less than a century ago, Christians dominated the intellectual and commercial life of the Levant, comprising more than a fifth of the population.
Under the AKP, Turkey has transformed from a secular state into an Islamic country with 85,000 active mosques – – one for every 350- citizens – – the highest number per capita in the world, 90,000 imams, more imams than teachers and physicians – – and thousands of state-run Islamic schools.
Abdullah Gul, Turkey’s first Islamist President, is a Gulen disciple along with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Yusuf Ziya Ozcan, the head of Turkey’s Council of Higher Education.
Despite the rhetoric of European Union accession, Turkey has transferred its alliance from Europe and the United States to Russia and Iran. It has moved toward friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria and created a pervasive anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, and anti-America animus throughout the populace.