Posts Tagged ‘Islam Turkey’

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on 60 Minutes

December 18, 2009

This Sunday, December 20th at 7 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. CST, His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will be interviewed on 60 Minutes about the Church and the difficulties it faces in Turkey.   The short trailer   surprised me and I hope it reflects the tone of the whole segment.  I’ve never heard His Holiness speak so directly about the oppression the Church endures.   Patriarch Bartholomew, aside from being a religious leader, is a well-versed politician.  His politically sensitive words always seem chosen to keep him balanced between drawn knives.  This interview is sure to raise someone’s blood pressure.

While I’m at odds with the Patriarch’s moves to control the American diaspora and his media-fueled elevation to the role of Orthodox “pope”, I still respect him as an Orthodox Patriarch and can certainly understand where he’s coming from on this issue.  This is a fight for the very survival of the Christian faith in one of its oldest communities, and fighting these days is about media presence.

I hope this news story will do some small part to expose the true nature of the Turkish government even while it scrambles to put its best face on for the EU admission process.  What I think is obvious is that the Turkish government and the country’s rising Muslim fanaticism will finish off the Turkish Christian minority in the 21st century if something drastic is not done soon. 

If you’re thinking this is overreaction, how about a plot by Turkish naval personnel to kill a target list of approximately 939 non-muslims and to bomb homes and places of worship.  Or  the Syriac Orthodox priest ordered under threat of death by muslim extremists  to tear down his church’s bell tower as reparation for the Swiss minaret ban.  I’ve got a limit here or I could give you a hundred more examples of threats, attacks, vandalism, and discrimination directed against Christians in Turkey.    

So by all means, European Union, admit Turkey and see what you get.  

Obama’s Field Trip to Hagia Sophia

April 7, 2009

Come along this week on the official Obama tour of Hagia Sophia – the greatest cathedral the world has ever seen.   (Bet no one bothered to ask the Ecumenical Patriarch if he wanted to go along for the bus ride.)   Wouldn’t you love to have heard the #*%! spin they put on the Fall of Constantinople and the wonderful way in which they’ve respected the rights and religious freedom of their Orthodox subjects.  It has been reported that  President Obama mentioned to the Prime Minister Erdogan that it would be a nice reflection of Turkey’s readiness for EU membership if they allowed the re-opening of the Halki Theological School .  (Isn’t he like the third US President to bring this up?)

Mr. President - as you can see, we respect our Orthodox minority - they can come to visit here anytime they want.

"Mr. President - as you can see, we respect our Orthodox minority - they can visit here anytime they want. As long as they don't pray."

"Look there Mr. President, that is the exact spot where the infidel Patriarch was butchered in 1453."

"The gift shop is right over there Mr. President. We have a nice selection of commemorative prayer rugs and t-shirts. My personal favorite is the one that says 'Keeping it real since 1453'.

"Well, Mr. President, how do you like what we've done with the place?"

"Well, Mr. President, how do you like what we've done with the place?"