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Author: Banu Akin
Why Ephesus?
Almost everyone I have taken to the house of Virgin Mary has asked me why did Virgin Mary come here or How did she end up here? or wasn't she too old to come so far.
I believe the main reason for these questions is the doubt caused by seeing the house of Virgin Mary in a country where %99 of the population is Muslim.

I try to explain the matter under two titles: Why Turkey and Why Ephesus.
Why Turkey?

First of all, before Turks brought Islam to today's Turkey, the main religion of the land was Christianity. %3 of Turkey is in Europe and %97 of Turkey is in Asia. That part of Turkey in Asia is known as Anatolia, which is actually nothing but the famous Asia Minor. Actually Turkey is the land where Christianity flourished. Followers of Jesus were first called as Christians in Antioch in Turkey, where one of the first churches of Christianity was founded by St Peter himself. St Paul was born in Tarsus in Turkey, had three journeys through the country, stayed and preached in Ephesus for 3 years on his 3rd journey, 3 of his letters were written to the communities in Anatolia: Galatians, Colossians and Ephesians.

Turkey is home to the Seven Churches of Asia, all of the first seven Ecumenical Councils which are recognized by both the Eastern and Western churches were held here.

We know that at least 4 of the 12 apostles preached in Asia Minor. St Peter preached in Antioch, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Bithynia; St John lived and preached in Ephesus where his tomb is today; Andrew is considered as the founder and the first bishop of the church of Byzantium ( today's Istanbul); and very exciting news“ The tomb of St Philip has just been discovered by the Italian archeologists in Hierapolis, Pamukkale.

Why Ephesus? To learn more, take a tour with me to Ephesus.

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