An Italian priest who has lived in Turkey for 27 years, is the latest victim in a string of violent attacks on clergy. Fr Adriano Franchini was stabbed in the stomach by a 19-year-old man who had expressed a desire to convert to Christianity and complained about the long procedure the Church in Turkey required for conversion. Asia News reports that the government has dismissed the stabbing as the action of a crazed individual. However, it is alleged that the man warned the police of his intention to attack Fr Adriano. In 2006 several priests suffered violent attacks. Fr Andrea Santoro was shot to death on 5 February 2006 as he was praying in church. Fr Roberto Ferrari was threatened with a knife and Fr Pierre Brunissen was also stabbed. Both recovered from their injuries. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan offered Fr Adriano his best wishes for a quick recovery and criticised the man for his actions. But critics have expressed fears that the authorities in Turkey are not doing enough to combat anti-Christian propaganda circulated on radio, television, the press and internet. The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Turkey (CBCT) say that Turks are subjected every day to inaccurate, abusive and scandal-mongering stories about Christians and their faith in the mass media. Source: Asia News
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