Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic World News

Prelate works to ‘keep the light of Christianity alive’ in Turkey

March 22, 2024

» Continue to this story on Aid to the Church in Need

CWN Editor's Note: In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Martin Kmetec, OFM Conv, of Izmir (Smyrna), Turkey, discussed some of the challenges faced by his historic see, mentioned in the Book of Revelation and once led by St. Polycarp.

Describing Turkey as “the forgotten Holy Land,” the 67-year-old Conventual Franciscan prelate, a native of Slovenia, said that “the church of Izmir is the only one of the seven churches of Revelation to survive to this day.” Covering an area just larger than Maryland, the archdiocese is now home to only 5,000 Catholics.

The horrific burning of Smyrna (1922)—not referred to by the prelate—was part of the Armenian genocide and Greek genocide perpetrated against Christians in Turkish territory, and is one of the reasons that the Christian population in the region of Izmir is so small today.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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