Turkey’w forgotten biblical history will make it one of the world’s top destinations for Christian tourism in years to come.
Even most Christians do not know that half of the New Testament is set in Turkey, following as it does the story of St Paul, a local from Tarsus who spent most of his life preaching in what is today Turkey. The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse, the world’s most important centers of Christianity at the time, are all dotted along Turkey’s Aegean coast. Three centuries later, Emperor Constantine converted the Roman Empire to Christianity and moved the capital to Constantinople, today’s Istanbul, which remained the world’s most important centre of Christianity for over a millennium.
Unsurprisingly, Turkey probably has more locations of Biblical significance than anywhere outside of Israel and the Palestinian territories, but with better infrastructure, prices, and accessibility. What is more surprising is how little of known about Turkey’s pre-Islamic heritage that Turkey has been left off the Christian pilgrimage trail. Until now.