The intense religious character of Asia Minor stems from the tradition of the Churches of the Apocalypse, while the rich and lively Christian heritage of the Byzantine era was preserved during the Ottoman period. The original schoolbooks were ecclesiastical: the Octoechos and the Psalter. The first known book printed in Smyrna is the Akolouthia of Saint Symeon (1764), while in the 19th century there was a significant production of religious books from the «Printing House of Joseph Magnes.» A landmark is the periodical Hieros Polykarpos, the publication of which started in 1911.

As early as the 17th century Roman Catholic monastic orders and Protestant missionary organizations arrived in the region with the goal to proselytize the locals; they had an intense publication activity from the 1830s onwards.

Numerous Greek Orthodox publications opposed Western religious propaganda, while karamanli books, such as the publication of the Teachings of Elias Miniatis in Trebizond by the printing house of the Serasis brothers in 1900, were geared to the education of Turkish-speaking Christians. Another important production comprises the rare francochiot editions, printed in Smyrna.