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Greek Orthodox And Islam


Vridar
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Recently I was told by a member of the Greek Orthodox Church she hid her particular Greek Crucifix neck pendent. She indicated she would be more than persecuted if a Muslim observed the pendent. Can anyone shed light on this? Is this hyperbole? Please give some background and reference so I can learn more.

 

Appreciatively,

Ron

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Recently I was told by a member of the Greek Orthodox Church she hid her particular Greek Crucifix neck pendent. She indicated she would be more than persecuted if a Muslim observed the pendent. Can anyone shed light on this? Is this hyperbole? Please give some background and reference so I can learn more.

 

Appreciatively,

Ron

 

Ron,

 

I have never heard such a thing. Maybe, it relates back to the problems between Turks and Greeks in Turkey. Or, it could just be another manifestation of Islamophobia.

 

In the Middle East, Christians who are a minority, often display signs of their religion (or more likely ethnicity). As an example, it is common for Egyptian Copts to have tattoos of the cross on their arm, which, BTW, may have been used to identify a group who were shot just the other day by a feral policeman in upper Egypt. (But, this is a divergence from you inquiry).

 

I too would be interested if anyone has any knowledge or thoughts on your question.

 

George

Edited by GeorgeW
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George and anyone who can explain,

 

The situation was a small gathering of Summer Seminar (prefer not to get too specific) members at our first lunch. We were introducing ourselves and our interests in the Seminar. The lady across from me introduced herself as a Greek Orthodox and bared her neck pendent indicating it was a Greek Orthodox Crucifix and she kept it hidden for if a Muslim recognized it she would be "killed." I remember her use of the words "obligation" to "kill" her if a Muslim saw the pendent. This stunned me and no one else took note. My questioning made her very defensive. I dropped the subject thinking it was a gross exaggeration or felt she lived in a fantasy world. Her participation in the week's daily lectures indicated she was not a crackpot.

 

Interestingly, the pendent must have been unremarkable for I don't even remember what it was. I used the term Crucifix earlier as I supposed it was. It may have been the Cross of Loraine, the two cross-beam Crucifix. Come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing a Cross of Loraine in the wild. Either they are hidden or I'm even more naive or remote than I think ~smile~.

 

Being exposed to a new group of deep thinkers on this forum I thought maybe some light on it can be shared. Of course, I did my usual searches for conflicts but all were of the general Christian/Islamic differences we are all aware.

 

As to diverting the topic, let's pretend the thread's title is Greek Orthodox, Islam, Christian, Copt, and Hebrew to see if a conversation of religious tolerance/intolerance develops ~smile~.

Edited by Vridar
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  • 4 months later...

Very strange indeed. Yes, it would be interesting know what she meant,and was afraid of.

 

While I was attending Religious Studies classes at the University of Houston several years ago, I felt blessed to be able to meet people of Christian traditions very different from my own, as well as of other religions. People of many different religious back grounds and faith traditions mingled very casually and comfortably in the area of the campus Bruce Religious Studies Center building.

 

I encountered many Muslims, and a good number from Greek and Eastern Orthodox and Coptic traditions. One of the most fascinating that few Christians in this country seem to be aware of, were some that were from Thomasine traditions, that had fled Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime...an inconvenient fact is that Christians in Iraq enjoyed relative safety, as the regime was bacially secular and actually protected the indigneous Christians' right to be there. The situation has changed dramatically for Christians in Iraq since Saddam's regime fell, and sectarian conflict and violence escalated in iraq in the aftermath.

 

To be honest, I observed many incidents of harrassment and rude behavior by Christians toward Muslims, and not once an incident of such behavior in return by a Muslim toward a Christian. I once felt like slapping down a campus shuttle bus driver for her hounding a young Muslim woman with conservative/fundamentalist comments and questions posed as if an interrogation...all the while, the young woman kept her eyes down, remained quiet and calm, with minimal but very poltite responses. even still, I feel some shame at not having spoken up to that driver! Thankfully, it was only a very short ride to the parking lot, the young woman did not have to endure it endlessly.

 

While many, perhaps most, of the Christians of Orthodox and Coptic traditions that I met had either themselves, or with their parents, come to the United states to escape persecution and violence toward Christians in middle eastern countries, I never observed any seeming to hide their religious identity, nor did I observe any hostilities between them and the many Muslims there. The prevailing atmosphere among Muslims there was of havingthemsleves left behind their middle eastern home countries to escape the problems related to conflict between rivaling factions within their home countries and conflicting branches of Islam.

 

The only matter of concern about potential for Muslim related threat of violence I ever heard expressed was that for Muslim clerics that accepted positions instructing courses involving Islamic studies in the Religious Studies dept at not only that, but any other secular American or European university. There seems to be real potential of harm toward them from more traditional and findamentalists Muslim factions. I don't know if it is a policy in all such programs, but in the UH Religious studies department, instructors are required to hold both the academic credentials required of university level teaching positions, and be or have prevously been a formally ordained/practicing cleric or clergy in the religious faith tradition they will be teaching about. It is my understanding Islamic tradtions and laws generally does not accept teaching Islam to "infidels", those that have not ambraced Islam as their personal faith.

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