Harbor At Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey

by David Padfield

Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey

A little over 30 miles north of Ephesus is the city of Smyrna -- both cities are on the Aegean coast of modern Turkey. Smyrna, known today as Izmir, is Turkey's third largest city. For a short period of time after World War I the city was under Greek control.

Smyrna was the first city in all of Asia to build a temple to Dea Roma (the goddess Rome). In the New Testament age this city had a population of more than 100,000 people.

The church at Smyrna was one of the "seven churches of Asia" mentioned in the book of Revelation. Our Lord told these persecuted Christians to be "faithful unto death" and they would receive "a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). Polycarp, an elder at the church in Smyrna, was burned alive at the stake in 155 A.D. for his refusal to deny Christ and swear allegiance to Caesar.