As young John says ‘Love and Mercy’
After Turks conquered Istanbul, still Christianity was the first religion there. Monuments of Christianity can be seen in Istanbul on Istanbul private guided tours and around Turkey in general. Particularly Ephesus played a vital role in the spread of the religion. It was one of the seven churches of Asia, the site of several 5-th century Christian Councils (Ephesus daily tours). We are not sure if Constantine the Great was a Christian or not but he is the one who thought that Christianity can be the saviour of the Roman Empire. He decided to accept the Christianity as a religion but he also knew it was not easy to do that in Rome. He was looking for a new capital when he came down to Byzantion (today’s Istanbul or Constantinople) where he settled his new Rome. Istanbul or Constantinople is the city where Christianity was promoted as the official religion of Rome. You can sense the Christian heritage of Istanbul not only with the buildings but also with the way Constantine the Great thought of and acted. His idea of a new capital and new religion of Rome. It can be felt among St.Sophia, Chora Church Museum and Greek Orthodox Patriarchate (guided tours Istanbul).
Head of Orthodox Church
Istanbul is still the centre and the head of Orthodox Church. Although there are more than 90 Orthodox churches up and running, the population of Orthodox is a little bit more than 5000. In Istanbul there are also 30 Catholic Churches. St. Anthony of Padua Church is the main one.
Turkey, Anatolia had always been given the label of cradle of Christianity. It is the birthplace of many Christian Apostles and Saints (sightseeing Turkey tours). Istanbul private guided tours have the knowledge. And they will to take you around Istanbul and introduce you to the monuments of Christianity.
After Constantinople was conquered in 1453, the Sultan Mehmed II or Mehmed the Conqueror established a system called the Millet System, with which all the different ethnic groups within the city and the whole Ottoman Empire were to be governed by a group of institutions based on faith. Thus, the previously non-existent authorities like Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, were founded. Also, with the Millet System, a great deal of the internal affairs regarding these communities were assigned to the administration of these religious authorities, such as the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the affairs of all Orthodox Christians, the Armenian Patriarchate for the affairs of the Armenian Christians, and later the Chief Rabbi for the affairs of the Jews.
St. Anthony Church
Among the major Christian churches in Istanbul are the St. Anthony Church (on Istiklal Street); the Bulgarian Church – a dream come true at that time for the Bulgarian population in Istanbul; the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate (located in the Fener nighbourhood); Surp Kirkor Lusarovic Armenian Orthodox Church – the oldest Armenian church of Istanbul; and the Anglican Church, also called Crimean Memorial Church.
There are other interesting but smaller churches as well.
Don’t miss to contact me and ask about Christian heritage of Istanbul on Istanbul private guided tours!