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The US Christian David Byle has requested that we pray for his present situation as he is detained in a government facility in Istanbul pending deportation.

On 6th April David was asked to go to the police immigration centre regarding an application for an extension to his residence permit. He was promptly arrested and taken to a police station in Fatih in Istanbul.

After two days the Governor’s office gave a deportation order on the grounds that David is a threat to public order. David was then taken to a hospital for a health check and detained in the Kumkapi immigration centre. He has also been given a ban forbidding him from entering Turkey and has a month-long observation order, effectively keeping him detained at the immigration centre. David’s lawyer today submitted papers challenging these orders.

Since 2010 David has consistently had problems obtaining residency in Turkey and at one stage in 2014 he was separated from his family for a period of several months after being banned from entering the country, while his wife and children remained in Istanbul.

Some people surmise that David’s arrest and pending deportation could be in response to developing security issues in Turkey. The Ministry of the Interior has recently issued security warnings to congregations and church leaders and it has been noted that terrorists have scouted some churches as potential targets.

Please pray:
a. that David will know God’s peace at this difficult time and that the deportation order and entry ban will be overturned
b. that God will help and strengthen David’s wife Ulrike and their five children
c. that David’s lawyer will have wisdom to know how to contest the Governor’s orders
d. that embassies in Turkey will also address this treatment of a foreign Christian who has committed no crime, but is being treated as a criminal on account of evangelistic activities
e. that the present situation in Turkey will become more secure and that terror attacks against churches and Christians will be discovered and prevented.
Middle East Concern