Yunus, 26, recently joined SAT-7 TÜRK’s viewer support team, where he helps and encourages young Turkish viewers in their faith. But he didn’t always know Jesus. Here, he shares his story – from guilt and shame, to being empowered to worship through music and answer the questions of others.
“Like the millions around me, I had no idea that Christianity once thrived in Türkiye,” Yunus says. “My beliefs were my identity. Even though God was far above me and unknowable, I firmly believed that no other truth was possible.
“MUSIC BROUGHT ME JOY”
“When I was 16 years old, that all changed. I loved music. I enjoyed playing flamenco guitar and then studied classical guitar. I was good at it, spending hours in practice. Music brought me joy. Then a religious teacher I respected asked to meet with me. ‘Yunus, I have something to show you,’ he said. He pulled out a book of our religious writings, one that I greatly respected. ‘You see here, it says music is a sin, forbidden. You need to turn from music, from sin.’
“I remember the moment vividly. I was greatly conflicted. How could this be? How could something as great as music be a sin? But it was in one of my holy books as absolute truth. For the first time, I began to question all I believed.”
THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH
Yunus decided to do something he had never done before: to read the religious writings. As he did, his doubts began to grow, and so did his fear; he had been warned of severe consequences if he doubted the teachings. But the idea that the music he loved was sin… it didn’t make sense.
So Yunus’ search for truth began. He was sure there was a God who created everything, including music. He contacted a Christian society in Türkiye, where the people gave him a Bible. As he began reading it, he was stunned by the words of Jesus, words of love, life, and hope. He thought they were the most beautiful words ever uttered by human lips.
Yunus had two dreams in which he called out to Jesus. Then one day, he literally heard His voice: “Yunus, I have been looking for you for years. Why are you not accepting me?” Yunus believed at last, and “suddenly, wonderfully, everything was made new. I was born from above!”
GROWING IN THE LORD
Yunus found a church and began to grow in the Lord, and he also started watching SAT-7 TÜRK. In his newly discovered belief that music glorifies God and is not a sin, he is now using his guitar skills as a worship leader. And, as a technically savvy young person, he also became an expert in social media. Then his pastor told him that SAT-7 TÜRK was looking for a viewer support officer.
Many of the young people getting in touch with SAT-7 TÜRK are from the same background as Yunus, and are starting to ask questions. In his role, Yunus listens to their struggles and encourages them by sharing his story. He then can tell them, “I was once where you are. I had the same conflicts, the same questions. I understand.”