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Christianity in the Past

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict Criticizes Islam [in Regensburg]
in response to reader comment: SOHAIL

Submitted by The Truth Will Set You Free (Canada), Sep 22, 2006 at 19:41

It's good that the Catholic Church has recognized its violent history and unchristian corrupted past in dealing with people, but this was not the only type of Christianity in the past. I am an Orthodox Christian who believes in a very tolerant way, that he follows the most accurate version of Christianity that has been handed down to the apostles and to the rest of the believers.

Sometimes we forget of Christianity's tolerant past that is extremely hard to find in Muslim countries. For example in 1568, when the Byzantine Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church had heard of Jews being mistreated in his country he issued a letter that was sent across the country advocating peace and justice towards members of other faiths as he says:

"Injustice ... regardless to whomever acted upon or performed against, is still injustice. The unjust person is never relieved of the responsibility of these acts under the pretext that the injustice is done against a heterodox and not to a believer. As our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospels said do not oppress or accuse anyone falsely; do not make any distinction or give room to the believers to injure those of another belief."

To me, this seems like the most sincere and genuine Christian response one can give. He does not ask them to adopt the liberal thinking of the West to make them believe that all religons are pathways to God. Rather upholding his own Orthodox Christian belief he says we should be fair and just to even the insignificant Jewish minority in his majority Orthodox Christian country.

That's why I believe the orthodox Church appears to me to be a picture of the early church that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself started. It maintains very conservative beliefs and appeals and yet has a strong history of being very tolerant towards people of other faiths.

We must not also forget that simplicity and poverty has a huge role in keeping people tolerant of others. Just look over the great tolerance that can be found in the African peoples towards people of other religions. This is also what Orthodox Christianity calls us for: It Tells us not to be spoiled but to humble ourselves like the Lord Jesus sharing with others and giving, and saving the least important for ourselves. Only then can Christianity survive as a religion of tolerance, when its members are built upon its fabric of peace and love.

Lastly, we need to learn from the mistakes of those who erred in calling themeselves Christians but performed actions that closely resembled Satan's. We are called by St. Paul the Apostle saying, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28)

Let us also not forget of the tolerant past even of the Christians in the West and East.

Submitting....

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