Turkey: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I condemns terrorism in Easter
May. 1, 2005 1:03
Patriarch condemns terrorism in Easter message
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I spoke out against terrorism,
killing in the name of religion and fanaticism as Orthodox faithful gathered
early Sunday at the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul to
Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians
and a longtime advocate of harmony between different religions, led several
thousand worshippers at a crowded midnight liturgy to celebrate Easter. Many
were pilgrims from neighboring Greece.
Bells rang loudly outside the gold-adorned Cathedral of St. George in
Istanbul as Bartholomew proclaimed that Jesus Christ had risen from the
In his Easter message, Bartholomew said humanity was not following
Jesus Christ's message.
"Terrorists kill in order to force nations and governments to accept
their demands ... Nations clash for reasons of racial dominance and
thousands of people are killed ... Fanatics murder the ones that do not
share in their fanaticism. Believers of one faith sometimes kill others who
represent a different faith," Bartholomew said.
"Contemporary man is so familiar with the catastrophic evil of
humanity that he does not always understand the joy and depth of the
resurrection," the patriarch added.
Orthodox churches use a different calendar than the Roman Catholic and
Protestant churches, which celebrated Easter on March 27.
The patriarchate, based in predominantly Muslim Turkey, dates from the
Orthodox Greek Byzantine Empire, which collapsed when the Ottoman Turks
conquered the city in 1453.
Bartholomew is considered the first among equals among Orthodox
patriarchs and directly controls several Greek Orthodox churches around the
Turkey only recognizes him as the religious leader of its tiny Greek