Author: Paul Lehr
Revelation 2:8a And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write…
Today, Izmir, Turkey is ancient Smyrna. It is located about 35 miles north of Ephesus.
January 5, 2017: At least three terrorists have attacked downtown Izmir, Turkey. A bomb was exploded near the court house. Early reports indicate at least 10 people have been injured. Law enforcement agents are reported dead. Gun fire between law agents and terrorists is reported. Two of the terrorists have been killed and another is being pursued.
Turkey has seen a wave of terrorism with the most recent incident taking place over New Year’s Eve. A gunman shot 39 people at a local night club in Istanbul.
ISIS and Kurdish extremist groups have been blamed for recent violence.
Smyrna was founded by the Greeks approximately 3,000 years ago. The city was rebuilt by Alexander the Great in roughly 340 BC. Later, the Romans were given control of the city in 133 BC as a part of Eumenes III will and testament.
Ancient Smyrna was a port city and relied on commercial trade.
The martyr Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyrna. He was killed in 155 AD.
Smyrna became a territory in the eastern leg of the Roman Empire. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 178 AD.
Eventually, Smyrna became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century.
Today, Izmir is the most populous Aegean port city in Turkey. The city is predominantly Muslim. It is the third most populous city in Turkey. Izmir is home to Turkey’s second largest Jewish community of about 2,500. (Wikipedia)