Christian History in Turkey

Many of the Most Important Events in Christian History Occurred in Turkey

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Saint Paul born in Tarsus, the Apostle Paul spread the word of Jesus Christ across Anatolia.

Antakya city which known Antioch in Biblical times, situated on Turkey’s Eastern Mediterranean coast.

This ancient city was home to the first important Christian community, founded in 42 AD by Saint Paul.

Jesus’ followers were first called “Christians” in Antioch and from here Christianity spread to the world.

St. Paul was departed from Antioch to his three missionary journeys.

The city holds the Church of St. Peter, a cave-church where the apostles Peter and Paul are believed to have preached. In 1963, the Vatican designated the site a place of pilgrimage and recognized it as the world’s first cathedral.

The Seven Churches of Revelation, a series of communities located near the Aegean coast, is where St. Paul preached and built the early church.

Ephesus, perhaps the most prominent of the Seven Churches, is where St. Paul wrote his letters to the Ephesians, and where St. John the Evangelist brought Virgin Mary to spend her last years.

The Vatican recognizes the Virgin Mary’s house, located in the hills near Ephesus, as a shrine.

Just outside Ephesus, in Selcuk, is the Basilica of St. John where he preached and is believed to be buried.

St. Nicholas was born in Patara and lived in Demre (Myra) situated on the Mediterranean coast. There is a church in Demre (Myra) dedicated to the original Santa Claus which is still stands.

In the Bible region of Cappadocia, visitors can explore more than 200 carved rock churches decorated beautifully with frescoes and a seven-floors underground city where Christians took refuge from oppressois.

The stunning Monastery of the Virgin Mary in Trabzon, situated on the Black Sea coast is a dating to the 4th century. Built on the edge of a 1200-foot cliff and accessible only by foot, it housed some of the Orthodox Church’s greatest thinkers.

Istanbul became the center of Christianity in 330 AD and it was here that the largest church in Christendom at the time, Haghia Sophia or the Church of the Divine Wisdom was dedicated by Emperor Justinian in 536 AD.

The Kariye (Chora) Museum which is a Greek Orthodox Church is famous with it’s incomparable Byzantine frescoes and mosaics.