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.