According to the excavation director the church was built during the reign of Constantine (306–337 A.
D.) and destroyed by an earthquake in the early seventh century.
The cross-shaped marble baptistery is one of the new archaeological discoveries at the fourth-century church in Laodicea that shows just how old is Christianity in Turkey.
There was already a well-established Christian community here for hundreds of years by the time this magnificent church was built.
In early February 2011 the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced some Biblical archaeology findings, including a large Byzantine Church at Horvat Midras southwest of Jerusalem.
The structure, which was used as a church in the fifth–seventh centuries, was among many new archaeology discoveries at the site and was located inside an earlier Jewish compound.
Early Christian gathering places are difficult to identify because at first Christians met together mostly in private homes. when the emperor Constantine made Christianity a licit religion of the Roman Empire.
Even as Christian populations grew, distrust and persecution by their Roman rulers forced the early church to stay out of the public eye. With this acceptance came the construction of large public buildings, or churches, to serve the worship needs of Christians.
Remains of these churches are now turning up in Biblical archaeology findings around the world, helping to answer the questions: How old is Christianity in places like Turkey and Egypt?
And when did Christianity begin to spread beyond Israel throughout the Roman Empire?