Sunday, March 22, 2009

Worshipping in Izmir

The Protestant Baptist Church in Izmir, Turkey, welcomed us – Neville Callam and I – at its worship service on the morning of Sunday, March 22.

In his sermon Callam declared, “We have a faith to live by and to die for,” and made reference to the example of Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, who was martyred by the Romans for the Christian faith more than 1,900 years ago.

Izmir is the city of Smyrna mentioned in Revelation chapter two.

When Polycarp was ordered to recant his faith, he announced, before being burnt at the stake, “For 86 years I have served Christ, and he has done me no evil. How could I now curse my king who saved me?”

The Protestant Baptist Church started in 1999 and is one of only two recognized Protestant churches in the city of more than 2.5 million people, with five additional house churches.

After the worship service, we were taken on a tour to several historical sites of the city, including to Kadifekale, where it is believed Polycarp may have been martyred.