For more than 20 years, there has been the Baptist church in Izmir, the biblical Smyrna. Pastor Ertan Cevik who has been on staff with EBM INTERNATIONAL since 2011 founded it. After long negotiations with the Turkish authorities, the church received the church building of a former Anglican church. About 100 years ago, there were three million Christians in Turkey. Today there are hardly 100,000 left of them. It is difficult for Christians in the country of many biblical cities.
The Baptist church Izmir is self-confident because of regular public activities. Starting with a “Prayer Breakfast for Men” as well as days of open door for students of the close by university and an active refugee aid work. The church wants to show itself and make clear: we want the best for this city and its people. Moreover, we want to make a spiritual home for those that have accepted Jesus as their Lord. The church in Izmir has connected itself with three other small Turkish Baptist churches in the past 10 years. One is in Samsun (by the Black Sea), the other in Adana (in the south part of Turkey), and the third is in Istanbul. In April 2014, the four churches founded the Turkish Baptist convention. The churches are not only growing but have also founded other churches. Samsun helped the church in Ordu; Izmir helped the churches in Menemen and Manisa. Together with the Iranian Baptist churches in Izmir, Adana, and Samsun, the Turkish Baptist convention has nine churches.
The churches are very active in helping the Syrian, Afghan, and Iranian refugees. Firstly, it is an expression of their faith and their relationship to God. Secondly, they always invite representatives of the authorities like journalists in order to be present in public.
They do not want to be an underground church but openly call upon the freedom of religion anchored in the Turkish constitution.
Since the church is only able to come up with part of the church budget, EBM INTERNATIONAL is also supporting them with donations.
The annual requirement (without refugee aid) consists of about €150,000.