Christians Accused of 'Insulting Turkey' Appeal Ruling

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Two Turkish Christians were convicted of 'lesser crimes' after facing more than $7,000 in fines or face jail time "insulting Turkishness."

Authorities originally charged Turan Topal and Hakan Tastan in 2006 with insulting Turkey and its people by spreading the Gospel. The pair were later acquitted of those charges but eventually convicted of a lesser offense.

Tastan told CBN News that Turkish authorities were trying to discourage Christian evangelism in in the predominately Muslim nation.

"They are trying to stop Turks in this country, citizens in this country from having the freedom to choose Christ," he said. "Even though legally they have this freedom, they are trying to use my case as a precedent for others to say you don't have this personal choice. This is definitely the goal of why they've opened this case against me."

The men are appealing to Turkey's high court and say they're prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

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