Phocas, bishop of Sinope (a city on the Black Sea in what is now Turkey), wasn't very lucky. In A.D. 117, during the Emperor Trajan's persecution of Christians, Roman soldiers suffocated him in the town's bath. But a fourth-century church built on his clifftop grave was even unluckier, says archaeologist Stephen Hill of the University of Warwick, England. It suffered two earthquakes, a flood, and a landslide — all during its construction. The site was apparently abandoned by the church, and seems to have become a medieval opium den. Now the archaeological site itself is staring into some bad luck. Hill told The National Post of Canada that the site "will survive into next year but its long-term future is not good."
Stories referenced above include:
'Unluckiest church in the world' is found—Ananova (December 13, 2002)1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more