The Silk Road


Church and mission in Turkey, Iran and Central Asia

Silkroad cover-189x300This book — another favourite for me — gave me the excuse to find out all I could about the former Soviet Central Asian states, about Turkey, and about the Persian world centred on Iran.

I could not put into print (and certainly wouldn’t put on the web) some of the things I heard. From Iran I heard one of the most astonishing stories of a family meeting Christ that I’ve ever come across. (I was able to put that into the book.) It was a joy to explore these utterly fascinating and rich histories and cultures, and to see how over the centuries — and in a new way in the present day — the Christian faith has been finding an entrance.

Further reading

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Meticulously researched and eye-opening history of Christianity going East from Jerusalem — a contrast to standard church histories, including the book of Acts itself, that tell the story of of the Church going West.

So this is the much-less-told other half of the story, including all kinds of gems. Here, for example, is the story of the Assyrian Church of the East, one of the great missionary denominations of history, who are now almost forgotten (but who make up much of the Christian community in Iraq, for example). Here too is the story of Mark, a Beijing-born Christian leader, who was welcomed in Rome and later shared Holy Communion with an English King — back in the 13th century. (I also included that story in my book.)