30 percent of clerics fail religion exam in Turkish town
Thirty percent of self-described hodjas, or Islamic clerics, have failed a religion exam in the southern Turkish city of Adana.
Muslims in Turkey started to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr on June 15 and many of them visited their beloved ones graves.
Cemeteries throughout Turkey buzz with activity, not only because of people’s traditional Eid visits, but also because of hodjas who offer religious services in front of tombs, such as prayers for the soul of the deceased.
It is a well-known fact that many of these hodjas are not graduates of theology or licensed by Turkey’s top religious authority, the Diyanet. For the first time, however, the Municipality of Adana has revealed that many of them are scam artists.
Only 70 percent of self-described hodjas passed an exam on religion that was conducted by Adana Metropolitan Municipality in five graveyards throughout the city, Doğan News Agency reported June 15.
“They are exploiting the religious feelings of people who come to visit the tombs of their beloved ones. We give an identification badge to those who pass the test and we throw others out of the graveyard to keep them from deceiving people,” the municipality’s funeral department head Bekir Durukan was quoted as saying.