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Tag Archives: Istanbul

Churches in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction‏

Shame on You

One of the common features of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey seems to be their intolerance of churches. “Turkey is not converting churches into mosques because there is a need for more mosques… The message conveyed … is that Turkey is an Islamic state and no other religion is tolerated.” — Constantine Tzanos, author. The physical devastation of the ... Read More »

Our great Church … in captivity

St George-Ecumenical Patriachate-Phanar-Istanbul

ALEXANDER BILLINIS Forgive me for borrowing from the title of Byzantine historian Sir Steven Runciman’s inimitable book on the Patriarchate during the Ottoman era, but the term is apt, I fear, when describing today’s Ecumenical Patriarchate. As diaspora Greeks, we are under the jurisdiction of this ‘captive’ Patriarchate. While the Patriarchate’s state of thrall to the Turks is not the ... Read More »

NOEL BABA: WILL THE REAL SANTA CLAUSE PLEASE STAND UP?

At Christmas time in year four of primary school, I was officially crowned the most unpopular pupil in class. The reason for earning this rather dubious title, is that in response to my teacher’s question as to whether we were cognizant of the identity of Santa Claus, I stated: “Yeah, I know, he was an old Greek priest who lived ... Read More »