Ancient Greek City in Turkey to Host Special Orthodox Service

The Basilica of St. John, Ephesus (file photo).

A special Orthodox religious service is to be held on Tuesday in the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, in modern-day Turkey.

The liturgy in remembrance of Saint John; who is believed to have been buried at the site in Aegean Turkey in 100 AD, will be attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and Theodore II, Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria in Egypt.

The Basilica of St. John in Ephesus was constructed by Justinian I in the 6th century and was modeled after the former Church of the Holy Apostles in Istanbul.

Before the service, a series of cultural events took place in Smyrna, highlighting the region’s Greek heritage; a students’ choir from Istanbul’s Zografeion Lyceum gave a performance in Greek and Turkish at the Izmir Sanat cultural center.

Late last month, a Turkish town heard its first Orthodox liturgy in 96 years at a special religious service also attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The special service took place in a former Orthodox Church in the town of Moudania (Mudanya) situated in today’s north-western Turkey.

Moudania was a thriving, predominantly Greek, town before the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in 1923.