St Paul In Turkey ,

The Meeting Place of Religions

St. Paul, along with St. Peter, is acknowledged as the most famous of the early Christian missionaries. It is within Turkey's boundaries that his birthplace is found, and where all his journeys took place. Most of the first Christian communities he founded are also located in Turkey. Without doubt it is in large part down to him that Christianity spread here from Jerusalem and from here into the heart of Europe. Even though the journeys he undertook would still take months in the most modern of vehicles and despite the difficulties he encountered en route he never wavered from his road or his purpose; to tirelessly and fearlessly spread the teachings of Jesus Christ in the face of intense pressure from Rome and which, as is well known, finally led to his death. Although he also travelled in Syria, Cyprus and Greece, Turkey is where he undoubtedly spent the most time and preached the most, covering just about everywhere from its southern tip to its western extreme. The two thousandth anniversary of his birth is celebrated in 2008, and he will be remembered in the towns where he lived, the roads he travelled and in churches in many regions of Turkey. On your journey in Turkey you can visit the Saint's birthplace, the first church in the world, and many other churches, you can visit the cities he visited on his journeys and you can follow in his footsteps on ancient roads.

St. Paul is represented in the Bible as someone who was at first so opposed to the early Christians that he persecuted, threatened and punished them. However, he had a vision Of Jesus Christ and experienced a miracle in which he was blinded. Later it was revealed to him that he had been selected to spread tile word of Jesus Christ to other nations, his sight was restored and he became a baptised Christian. After this miracle he became one of Christianity's greatest defenders, succeeding in preaching the leaching of Christ on long journeys laden with difficulties. St. Paul, beginning in Anatolia and continuing throughout the whole Mediterranean, began to found tile first Christian communities. Although not one of Christ's 12 Apostles he was known as the Apostle of Asia Minor (Anatolia) because he served Christianity in these ways.
Information concerning the life of St. Paul and the journeys he undertook in Anatolia is found in the Acts of the Apostles of the New Testament. After his vision of Christ given in the 9th chapter the journeys St. Paul made to spread the name of Jesus Christ are described and the problems he encountered. Throughout these journeys the names of places in Turkey are mentioned often.