Although conversion from Islam to Christianity is not legally forbidden, anyone who is not a Muslim, or who converts to a different faith, is seen as a disloyal Turk. Christians are viewed as a negative Western influence, and those who choose to follow Jesus can face pressure from their families and communities to recant their faith. Given that religious affiliation is registered on the electronic chip inside ID cards, it’s easy for employers, particularly those with connections to the state, to discriminate against believers.
Turkey is also home to converts from countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. On top of pressure from Turkish society and government officials, these believers face pressure from their own families and communities. Many are fearful of making contact with local churches because of the risk of discovery by community members.