A group of Turkish archaeologists recently discovered an early Christian church in an ancient underground settlement near modern-day Nevsehir Province, in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey.
According to the group, the walls of the rock-cut cave church are covered by frescoes portraying Jesus Christ, the apostles, and the saints.
The church was found in a large underground city that the scientists discovered in March 2015.
Mr. Hasan Ünver, the mayor of Nevsehir, told the Anadolu Agency and the English-language newspaper Hurrivet Daily News, “The frescoes in this church show the rise of Jesus the Christ into the sky and the killing of the bad souls. We know that such frescoes have so far never been seen in any other church.”
Dr. Semih İstanbulluoğlu, an archaeologist at Ankara University along with his colleague Ali Aydun recounted; “Only a few of the paintings have been revealed. Others will emerge when the earth is removed.
“There are important paintings in the front part of the church showing the crucifixion of Jesus and his ascension to heaven.
“There are also frescoes showing the apostles, the saints and the Old Testament prophets Moses and Elyesa.”
Mr. Ünver reiterated, “there are exciting depictions like fish falling from the hand of Jesus Christ, him rising up into the sky, and the bad souls being killed.
“When the church is completely revealed, Cappadocia could become an even bigger pilgrimage center of Orthodoxy.”
The archaeologists have dated the church to the 5th century CE.