Monday, November 18, 2013

Turkish pastor arrested on human trafficking accusations

Pastor says deliberate plot was hatched to discredit his church

Pastor Orhan Picaklar was arrested on Monday.
Samsun Agape Church
A Turkish Protestant pastor arrested by police in the Black Sea province of Samsun this week is accused of involvement in prostitution and the human trafficking of refugees.
Pastor Orhan Picaklar of the Samsun Agape Church was summoned to local police headquarters for questioning on Monday afternoon (November 11). The pastor was detained until Wednesday evening in a police investigation led by the Morals Bureau of the Public Order Division. The criminal case was reportedly based on a telephoned complaint from an unidentified person.
Picaklar and his congregation have been accused repeatedly of “illegal missionary activities” by local TV channels and newspapers, claiming the church used bribery and prostitution to deceive young people and convert them to Christianity. The church building itself has been vandalised, stoned and its windows broken a number of times. The pastor continues to receive death threats over the telephone and internet, and was once kidnapped by men posing as plainclothes policemen.

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