According to American Atheists, Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Other areas around the world offer a slightly different interpretation. The Association of Atheism, supports the idea of a free-thinkingenvironment for individuals who reject the religious disciplines and supernatural beliefs, so that they may express their own philosophical views without fear.
The following is my own thoughts and personal experiences with Atheism and Christianity in Turkey. There are often very polarizing opinions and divisions and when it comes to religious beliefs. Throw in different political views from various groups of people separated by soveriegn boundries and things get even more confusing and contested. After traveling to Izmir, Turkey some 20 years ago, I sometimes check in on the happenings in the country out of curiousity. I still have a silk rug and a teapot that I treasure as souveniers from this beautiful country and found the people there to be mostly friendly and many of the young men I met had a suprisingly strong interest in basketball and the NBA, so that was often the topic of discussion.
Since I didn't speak Turkish, and was only there visiting for a short period of time, most of my conversations with locals did not involve religion or politics. I do remember that there were some rather serious laws at protecting the memory and preservation of the first Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This including punishing those that vandalized any of the numerous Ataturk statues found throughout the country. When I asked a few people about how they felt about these laws, only a few young people gave their opinions while the older people tended to shy away from the subject.
As for the subject of religion, I was surprised to learn that many young people I spoke with didn't really associate themselves with a religion as they didn't believe in God and considered themselves Athiest orAteistin Turkish. A trend that I have seen from a far, that looks to be gaining momentum. The older generations I spoke with tended to identify as Muslims. As the minority religion in Turkey, Christianity doesn't seem to get as much attention and I haven't seen many informational sites that offer young people an opportunity to learn more about the teachings of Jesus Christ. Even though inn the last couple of years Turkish President Erdogan has made some promissing statements regarding the protection of Christian worship houses, there have also been many reports of his inflammatory comments about Christians and the tolerance of Christian persectution. In regards to Syria, many Christian leaders oppose Turkey's involvement in Northern Syria.
The Christian point of view... What does the Bible say?
Bible verses about atheism
- 2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears
- 1 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
- Matthew 12:39
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
- Ephesians 4:18
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
- Psalms 14:1
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.