Turkey to start Christian curriculum in schools

Turkey (MNN) — Turkey is a country of about 76 million people. Of those, 99.9% of Turkish people are Muslims. Only a fraction of the population reportedly is Christian. That makes this story even more amazing.

Behnan Kanutgan, Turkey.

Behnan Konutgan with International Needs Network (left),
Greg Yoder with MNN (right).

According to Turkey Country Director for International Needs Network Behnan Konutgan, the ministry of education has requested him to lead a group of Christians to create Christian curriculum for a religion class for the public schools. “Because Turkey is on its way to joining the [European Union], they have created a new thing for next year. They will have an elective course for the schools for 5, 6, 10, and 11 grades.”

Christian students in the past were required to take Islamic education classes. Konutgan says, “We didn’t expect this, but they want to show Europe that Christians exist in Turkey and [Turkey] loves them, respects them, and we love for them to learn [about their religion].”

The curriculum has been written and submitted to the minister of education. “They promised to print it. This is the first in the history of Turkey. This is wonderful!”

If there are Christians in a public school, they can request Christian classes rather than Islamic one. He say those requests must be honored. “Then the principal will tell us, and we’ll get the teachers. This is wonderful.”

In order for Christians to train their children in the Christian faith, many sent them to a two-week summer camp. “Now, we will train them while in schools. They will give their books to the friends who are interested and talk about that. They will be natural missionaries with their friends,” adds Konutgan.

The first two books for the 5th and 6th grades are waiting to be printed. “If they don’t print these two books, we’re not going to work on the other books. But if they print it and show it, we’ll work on the next two books.”

Konutgan asks you to pray. “Pray that this project will be done. Pray that there would be no people against this project in the ministry of education and that they will accept it and print the books.”