Islam in Europe: To Be in EU, Turkey Must Have Religious Freedom

“A leading ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Turkey on Wednesday to show it was serious about defending religious freedoms if it wanted to join the EU, saying it should let Christians build churches without restrictions,” says a Reuters story featured in yesterday’s Chicago Tribune.

Before membership talks continue, Volker Kauder, leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in parliament, called for a “clear signal” on the issue from Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. “A country that wants to be part of Europe must accept the basic principle of religious freedom,” he said.

Read the full story here.

Turkey is a secular republic but many of its 75 million people are Muslim. Secular opponents to the religious conservatives and critics believe that the government of the Prime Minister are “trying to impose Islamic values by stealth.” It seems those in Germany, Turkey’s largest trading partner in the EU, are looking for guarantees that that will not happen and religious freedom will remain intact. There are over two million Turks living in Germany, with no known Christians among that population, according to recent Joshua Project research.

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