August 22, 2010
The Tolerance of Islam
If you missed this 60 Minutes segment, and have the leisure, it's worth observing the fate of Christianity in one of its earliest outposts outside the Holy Land - in a country many have described as perhaps the most secular, enlightened, and modern of Muslim states, one that has repeatedly sought entry to, first, the Common Market and now to the European Union. This is the story of Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and primate to the world's 300,000,000 Orthodox Christians. In it you will see some of the oldest Christian structures in existence, and its most ancient artwork. Some of the frescoes are instantly recognizable. As the camera takes you through the churches, the monasteries, and the schools - all mostly museums now (the Hagia Sofia is one, built a 1,000 years before St. Peter's) - you can feel the spirits of those ancient converts who built the faith, and ultimately the civilization we know as Christendom, pressing upon the present. If Bartholomew is right about a "resurrection," then maybe the work of our first brothers and sisters in the faith is not done yet. As of now, though, only 4,000 Christians remain in Turkey. It's a cause for sadness; it is also an abomination.
The Patriarchate's website is here.
There is one 30 second commercial interruption.