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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Turkey: Pastor Chooses to Drop Charges and Forgive Muslim Men Who Damaged Church

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Jul 29
  • Comments

A pastor in Turkey made headlines when he chose to forgive a group of Muslims who damaged his church.


According to, Pastor Matta (whose full name is being withheld for security reasons) decided not to press charges against the Muslim men who broke windows and damaged a security camera at the pastor’s rented church building. The extremists were reportedly angered that the church was leading Muslims away from the faith to Christianity.


"During the trial, the judge asked me whether I am pressing charges or not," Pastor Matta said. "I replied, 'I'm not pressing charges because the Lord asked me to forgive.'"


The judge was incredulous that Pastor Matta did not want to press charges, but Matta remained firm in his decision:


“No, I don't want to; the only thing I want is it to be known that we are not bad people,” he said.


Many news sources reported on Pastor Matta’s surprising decision to forgive. The story ended up drawing an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.


"We praise God because after this attack good reports for us were published in many papers, and some officials came to visit us," Pastor Matta said. He adds that many were shown that followers of Christ believe in loving their enemies.



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Publication date: July 29, 2016