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Public Lecture

The Glorious History of the Syrian Church: From the Time of the Apostles Until Now

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 7:30PM - 9:00 PM

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As Syrian refugees begin to resettle in Europe and North America, it is critical that the church extend arms of welcome. However, few western Christians realize that many Syrian refugees come with a long-standing and deeply rooted Christian tradition of their own. The Syrian church dates back to the earliest Apostles: while Paul took the Roman Road west, Thomas and others took the silk and spice roads east. These eastern missions were extraordinarily successful: by 100 AD, as historian Phillip Jenkins notes, 50% of all the Christians in the world were living east of Baghdad.

This lecture traces the roots of the Syrian church all the way back to the Jewish exile in ancient Iraq and Persia. It follows the growth of that church through the early days of the faith and into a glorious era in which Christianity flourished in Central Asia, India, and China. Finally, it connects that storied history with the Syrian people today, showing us how the western church can welcome and learn from our Syrian brothers and sisters.

This lecture is part of our 2017 Summer Evening Public Lecture series. 

Dr. Bakke has devoted his career as a pastor, author, and academic to the study and practice of urban ministry. A popular speaker and teacher, he is also a pastor, author, and founder of the International Urban Associates, the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education, and Bakke Graduate University.

Dr. Bakke will be teaching the class "Urban Immersion: Mission & Theology in the 21st Century" from May 11–17, 2017 as part of our 2017 Summer Programs. Learn more at

Regent College Chapel

Speaking at this Event


Ray Bakke

Senior Associate; Professor (Ray Bakke Associates; Ray Bakke Centre for Urban Transformation, Hong Kong )

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