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Gospel in a Cradle of Christianity

Map of Turkey

Baptists in Turkiye 

Turkiye may be called the cradle of Christianity. Some missionary journeys of the apostle Paul took place in today’s Turkey, and the seven churches (Rev. 2-3) were located there too. Nowadays 99% of nearly 85 million Turkish citizens claim to be Muslims while Christians comprise less than 1%... 

There are several Baptistic congregations in Turkiye and some of them are in fellowship with one another. The clergymen often collaborate to overcome potential ministry obstacles. Rev Ertan Cevik, the Baptist pastor from Izmir (ancient Smyrna) has a missionary heart and mentors many young Christian leaders.    

Church Planters in Turkiye – Konak & Bergama

The Protestant Baptist Kilisesi of Izmir is the mother church aiming to plant two other congregations. One of them is in Konak which is located in the center of Izmir where about 4 million citizens live. Among them are many refugees from Iran, Syria and Africa. The other church plant is in Bergama (ancient Pergamon, about 100 km distant from Izmir). 


Mert (34) is the team leader at Konak. He grew up in a secular family and became a Christian in 2006 after a friend presented him with a Bible and invited him to church. Mert graduated from a high school in 2011 and later studied at a Bible school for 2 years. Currently, he is a student of the Policarp Seminary which is led by the Turkish Baptist Alliance. He is involved in Christian ministry, like leading Bible studies, preaching and worship. In 2023 he developed a vision to start a congregation at Konak. He formed a mission team with a goal to organize Christian meetings in Konak where there is an empty Greek Orthodox church building. 

The vision for church planting in Konak was endorsed by pastor Ertan who commissioned the team for this ministry. The team serves the poor people and among them are many refugees from Afghanistan, Africa and Syria. However, their main goal is to build bridges with Turkish people. 

They do social ministry, distribute literature and organize events around Christian holidays. They organize Christian meetings about once a month in an empty building which was in the past a Greek Orthodox sanctuary. During the week they study the Bible. The team would like to attract more people and they work hard to gain the trust of the local population. 


Onur (38) is church planting in Bergama. The city is populated by 100 thousand and has the ruins of an ancient Christian cathedral, an empty synagogue building and ruins of a primeval pagan temple which was referred to in the book of Revelation 2:13 “where Satan has his throne”. 

Onur has been a Christian since 18 years of age. In 2008 he went to Moldova where he spent 6 years and learned the Russian language. Upon return to Turkiye, he prepared for Christian ministry and later served as a missionary in Ordu (northern Turkiye) where he led Christian meetings for new converts. 

Since 2022 Onur together with his wife Marina have been involved in Christian ministry in Bergama. They hold regular Christian meetings in a rented hall in the town centre. The hall serves during the week for some cultural events which the mission team organizes. They also established an association to connect with people who want to learn a foreign language and find out more about Christianity.

The present congregation is composed of about 10 people, including Turkish people, one Russian and one war refugee from Ukraine. Onur usually leads services and Marina plays the piano. The typical service comprises worship, preaching, the Christian confession of faith and the Lord’s Prayer. After the service, there is fellowship around the table which provides an excellent occasion for building relationships.

Onur wrote in his recent report:

We had an opportunity to meet a new family after Christmas. This Turkish couple has a 12 year old girl. Since my wife speaks Russian and English, they also want their daughter to learn other languages and different cultures. We pray that the light of the gospel may enlighten their hearts.
We always celebrate Christian holidays - Easter and Christmas, which is a good testimony of our faith. We received exceptionally positive feedback after the last Christmas event. It was even reported through a newspaper and now the locals know that Christians live and worship in Bergama. 
We utilize different methods to share the gospel. I regularly meet one-on-one with those who are interested. Thanks to our command of the foreign languages we meet with a group of about 15 foreigners who reside in Bergama. My good knowledge of the Russian language and my wife's command of Russian and English are tools for outreach.

Onur and Marina send to you a word of greeting :

Your intercessory prayers for the Christians in Turkiye are invaluable! 

In Christ, 

Daniel Trusiewicz EBF Mission Coordinator Planting new churches together!  For the glory of God! 

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