Sunday, May 18, 2014

Area Deaconess Conference - Istanbul

Istanbul Lutheran Church
The history of the Istanbul Lutheran Church goes back to the year 1709 when the first Lutheran pastor was sent to Constantinople from Sweden. In modern Turkey, the Istanbul Lutheran Church was founded in 2003. Some Finnish Lutherans had been working in Turkey since the beginning of the 1970s, but during those years they couldn’t really think about having a Lutheran congregation living there. In the beginning of this millennium, Finnish people living in Istanbul saw that it was now possible to start a Lutheran congregation, to come together and have public services. They started in the old Lutheran chapel with services in Finnish. People invited their friends and neighbours to attend. Gradually they started to translate the service and sermon into the Turkish language. In 2002, the first pastor was called to serve the congregation in Istanbul—Risto Soramies. He could preach in Turkish. He completed the enormous work of founding the church. Today, he is the bishop of the Mission Province in Finland.

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