Ancient Biblical city of Antioch was devastated in Turkey earthquake

Wednesday, March 1, 2023 | Tag Cloud

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The ancient Turkish city of Antioch, where the Bible says followers of Jesus were first called Christians, has been devastated by the catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake which hit Turkey and Syria on February 6 and killed 42,000 people, the Christian Post (CP) reports.

There are two cities named Antioch in the book of Acts in the Bible: Antioch in Psidia (Acts 13:14-16) and Antioch in Syria. The modern-day Syrian Antioch is in Antakya, Turkey, and is referred to in Acts: “When persecution in Jerusalem gave impetus to evangelism, some of the scattered Christians reached Antioch (Acts 11:19).”

Syrian Antioch/Antakya suffered severe damage in the quake earlier this month, with hundreds of buildings being destroyed, including the Antakya Mesihçiler Kilisesi church, which was razed to the ground, CP reports.

In a statement to CBN News, Pastor Elmas Akin of the Antakya church said: “Nothing is left. And this has been our church for 23 years. All those years of love and caring for everyone. Everything is gone completely.”

Nevertheless, Pastor Elmas said, there is hope for the city’s future, and God has already provided specifically for the congregation. “There’s no more Antioch left, but there will be a new Antioch,” Elmas said. “God has already given us the building for it, and there’s no damage to that church. Please pray that God will see us through to the completion of the new church building, where the need is so much more evident.

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