Often times one hears of the many attacks made by Muslims against Churches. However, in a case in Turkey, a Muslim woman has dedicated her life to caring for an old church:
An 80-year-old mother of eight, Çaçur refuses to hand over the daily cleaning and maintenance of Surp Kevork church, which dates back to the 17th century.
The church in Derik, a district of the southeastern city of Mardin known for its multi-faith population, fell into disrepair after the last remaining members of the Armenian community left in the 1980s. Before the Muslim woman volunteered to take care of the church built on 1,500 square meters, an elderly couple, the only Armenians left in the district, were tasked with its upkeep. “Yurşalin and her husband Naif used to clean it and keep it tidy, but now they are ill and cannot leave home as much. I didn’t want this place to be abandoned to its fate,” Çaçur said.
“I do it for Allah’s blessing. It is a good deed after all. I am here every day,” she said. Apart from simple cleaning, she occasionally works in the church’s courtyard, trimming underbrush, watering flowers and caring for trees. Çaçur suffers from illnesses due to old age and has lived alone since her husband’s death but refuses to leave the premises unattended.
Turkey’s Armenian community numbers around 60,000 and has 33 churches across Turkey. However, most churches do not have congregations, especially those in the Anatolian heartland and cities far from Istanbul, the city with the highest Armenian population. The minority, resettled outside modern-day Turkey during World War I, considerably shrunk in the ensuing decades. (source)
Islam is an evil religion. It is not the way to God. However, there are many Muslim people who genuinely believe in the religion because they believe it is true.
People like her are the reason why Christians MUST pray and make sacrifices for Christians as well as non-Christians, because there are many people who, in spite of their errors, sincerely desire to do God’s will, and even though they do not know Him, they seek what is right and, if given right guidance, would likely accept him.
All men are, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, a tabula rasa, a blank slate onto which our understanding of the world as shaped by experience and learned knowledge is traced. Indeed, many people believe in Islam because this is all the ever know or understand, and perhaps their experience with Christians is limited.
It is also a reminder to place mercy before justice, understanding that while a man is saved by the grace of God through faith, faith without works is also dead in the eyes of God. This is not to say that a man earns his way to Heaven by his works, or that non-Christians “work” their way into heaven, but an acknowledgment that mercy and justice are equally important and inseparable from God’s nature, which is Love (1 John 4:8).
Likewise, note this article came from the Turkish Daily Sabah, which is a pro-Erdogan newspaper. Be not deceived, for Erdogan desires to massacre the remaining Christians in pursuit of his Ottoman dream. Any “pro-Christian” or seemingly “pro-Christian” stories published by ANY Turkish source must be considered in the light of this reality, as to ignore it would be an act of negligence in the face of Turkey’s long and anti-Christian history, which is something that even the best propagandist would have difficulty obscuring.
While Christians have fought Muslims throughout history and by necessity, it has never been the force of arms through which Christianity has ultimately triumphed. As always, even in Muslim lands, it was a triumph of the cross over the barbarity of Islam as it still is today.
Islam is a religion that came to power through the force of arms and the promises of worldliness. The Faith triumphed through the grace of God and a promise of mercy.
God had mercy on the human race when he did not have to, yet He still did.
Likewise, men and especially Christians must make all efforts to seek mercy for others, even those who do not deserve it.