European City Spotlight: Istanbul, Turkey

According to this website, the second-most populous city in Europe is Istanbul, Turkey.  Wikipedia has this to say about Istanbul:


  • Historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople
  • The largest city in Turkey and 5th largest city proper in the world with a population of 13 million
  • The largest metropolitan city proper in Europe and the second largest metropolitan area in Europe by population
  • Istanbul is a megacity, as well as the cultural, economic, and financial centre of Turkey.
  • The city covers 39 districts of the Istanbul province.
  • It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country.
  • It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents.
  • During its long history, Istanbul had previously served as the capital of the Roman Empire (330–c.395), Byzantine Empire(c.395–1204 & 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922).  Thereafter, the newRepublic of Turkey, moved their capital to Ankara during the Turkish War of Independence.
  • Istanbul was chosen as aEuropean Capital of Culture for 2010 and European Capital of Sports for 2012.The historic areas of the city were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
  • The rate of population growth in the city is currently at 3.45% a year on average, mainly due to the influx of people from the surrounding rural areas.  The population has doubled from from 6.6 million in 1990 to over 13 million in 2011.
  • Istanbul is one of the most important tourism spots of Turkey. There are thousands of hotels and other tourist oriented industries in the city, catering to both vacationers and visiting professionals. In 2006 a total of 23,148,669 tourists visited Turkey, most of whom entered the country through the airports and seaports of Istanbul and Antalya.
  • Religion in Turkey:  The best I can tell, it is similar to the rest of Turkey – Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians, Jewish population).

Would you please pray for God to raise up missionaries to go to the city of Istanbul and to the country of Turkey?  There has been some pretty bad cases of persecution in the country i the past, but they need Jesus there.

Pray for Moscow, Russia.

Read about needs in other places around the world at

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