September 12, 2013
The historical cell where the Apostle Paul lived during his journeys through Asia Minor, in an area in which he formed a large group of believers, has been brought to public light by Turks, according to a report in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak.
According to the report in the Turkish newspaper, in the region of Kilistra, southwest of Konya, archaeological excavations have greatly advanced in recent years and have brought to light a new "Cappadocia" with many carved arches.
It is believed that in this region many faithful Christians took refuge during the time of the Apostle Paul when Christianity first spread through Asia Minor. As Ali Boran, a Turkish professor of History, officially stated, south of the city of Konya, is the historic town of Kilistra, and in this area there existed at the time of the Apostle Paul a coenobium in which the Apostle of the Nations proselytized many Greek-speaking locals, which in a few years would conquer all of Asia Minor.
The Turkish historian likened the area of Kilistra to Cappadocia, which is known worldwide for its carved churches and underground cities that cause global admiration for the way they were cut and how the first Christians survived at a depth of several meters below earth. Of equal importance and historical value to Cappadocia, as argued by Ali Boran, is the area he has investigated south of Konya and in which, as shown by all indications, the Apostle Paul lived and taught in a carved coenobium. For this reason, says the Turkish professor, archaeological research will continue in order for the historical background of the region to come to light, which will give it a historical and religious value to the global community.
This is another episode in the series of discoveries with clear Christian content the Turkish news has constantly reported on in recent years. As shown, the Turks have embarked on an intensive effort to highlight again the lost Christian character of Asia Minor, despite strong criticism at times from Islamic circles, naturally expecting and depending on tourism benefits. Characteristic is the statement by Ali Boran, that the cell of the Apostle Paul in Kilistra can become a major pilgrimage site for Christians.
According to the the Turks themselves, this is a unique historical find for the Apostle Paul, who is known as the first to make Christianity a universal religion and the first area where Christianity took ecumenical character is Asia Minor. Perhaps, as the Turks claim (and here is the paradox ), Kilistra of Asia Minor may be the historical origins of the universalization of Christianity and the birthplace of Orthodoxy.
Translated by John Sanidopoulos