The number of Christians in Turkey is exceedingly small—by one estimate, the country is over 99 percent Muslim, with Christians of various denominations making up a fraction of 1 percent. So what happened today is noteworthy—and poignant.
The Russian diplomat who was assassinated yesterday was given a very Christian farewell at the airport, complete with prayers and incense from an Orthodox priest. You can watch it above.
A retired State Department official told Aleteia it was a “highly unusual public expression of Christianity in a Muslim country.”
The remains of Russian envoy Andrey Karlov were sent back to Moscow from Turkey on Tuesday, a day after he was shot dead by an off-duty police officer in the Turkish capital. The white, red and blue Russian flag was draped on the casket as a Russian Orthodox priest recited prayers in a ceremony at the Ankara airport. Top ministers from the Turkish government also made spoke in memorial to Karlov. Karlov was killed on Monday night, shot in the back by a 22-year-old off-duty policeman who shouted slogans associated with Islamic militancy as he launched the attack.