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Christian Sozopol and the Relics of St. John The Baptist 
Автор: Божидар Димитров/Bojidar Dimitrov
Раздел: История на религиите, Българска история на чужди езици, Археология
Издателство: Национален исторически музей, Уникарт
Народност: българска
ISBN: 985632654125
първо издание, 2010 год.
меки корици, 28 стр.
Цена: 10,00 лв  
The present-day town of Sozopol lies on three peninsulas in the southern part of the Burgas Bay in the Black Sea. Here, the Bulgarian coast is streaked with a plethora of islands and peninsulas, forming the bay of Sozopol. It is the only one along the entire western Black Sea coast that is naturally protected from the battering sea winds and capable to harbour hundreds of ships. This fact was a prerequisite for the formation of a big Greek trade city on one of the peninsulas in 610 BC. The city, which was named Apollonia Pontica, flourished for centuries on, and its residential quarters occupied vast terrains both on the islands and inland.

When our Saviour Jesus Christ started preaching in the Middle East, Sozopol fell within the borders of the Roman Empire. The town was then known as Apollonia Pontica. The Word of God reached the inhabitants of the town through Saint Andrew the First-called, one of the twelve apostles, disciples of Jesus Christ. He was the first to spread Christian Faith, hence his name the First-Called. In the year 55, Saint Andrew settled in the city of Byzantion, which was later renamed Constantinople, and sailed on a preaching mission along the port cities in the Black Sea. The first port on his way from the Bosporus was Apollonia Pontica. St. Andrew established Christian communities (bishoprics) in every city, which on their turn continued to spread Christianity.

Owing to this fact, the citizens of Sozopol can pride themselves in the fact that their ancestors were the first within present-day Bulgarian lands, and perhaps, on the entire European continent, to be illuminated by Christian faith. Apostle Peter and Apostle Paul started preaching in Italy and Greece a few years later.

In the lst-3rdcc. AD, Christian faith was persecuted by the Roman authorities, so it's no wonder we know little of the life of the Christians in Sozopol of that period. They, too, were not spared repressions. In the 2nd c. AD the bishop of the town of Publius died a martyr's death, and in the 3rd c. the same fate befell the legionary (solder) Zosimus.
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