Christianity Reunited (to Some Extent)

CONSTANTINOPLE – For the first time in nearly 1700 years, leaders of the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches in Turkey converged at the Ecumenical Patriarchate on October 15 to release the book written by their council, titled Basic Principles of Christianity, Today’s Zaman reported.

The book, published by the Bible Society in Turkey, places special emphasis on unity even as differences exist among the Christian Churches, the Society’s executive secretary, Tamar Karasu, told Zaman.

Though not an Ecumenical Council, the October 15 gathering demonstrated the different denominations’ ability to come together even after almost 1700 years – since the First Council of Nicaea, in 325AD.

Patriarch Bartholomew said, Zaman reported, that the book has united the local Christian community, which has had disagreements for centuries.

He said it is noteworthy to see the names of all churches in the country together in a book that acknowledges their unity. “It is our duty to inform our Muslim brothers and sisters correctly about Christianity, whose presence in these lands goes back a long way,” he said, Zaman wrote.

Karasu said 13,000 copies were printed and 10,000 were distributed among the churches in Turkey. The book is also available online and bookstores of the Bible Society in Turkey, Karasu said.