RELIGION > Christianity no longer a religion, says Turkish minister

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency

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Erdoğan Bayraktar. AA Photo

Erdoğan Bayraktar. AA Photo

Christianity has ceased to be a religion but has become a culture of its own, Turkish Environment and Urbanism Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar said at a recent conference hosted by the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Women's Group.
"The biggest three countries in the world are not Muslim countries. China, India – only the U.S. believes in a single God. Spirituality and religious feelings are weakening," Bayraktar said.
"There are 2.5 billion Christians in the world," Bayraktar said. "Christianity is no longer a religion. It's a culture now. But that is not what a religion is like. A religion teaches; it is a form of life that gives one peace and happiness. That is what they want to turn [Islam] into as well."


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mara mcglothin

1/11/2013 6:37:49 PM

SAFIYAH NOOR PAGE I don't believe that "feelings regarding Allah" are waning. I believe feeling for organized religion is the thing that is waning. ILLAWARRIOR HILL I think you are correct in saying there are many who believe that their spiritual relationship with God is a private matter and doesn't need to blessing or guidance of others. More and more people are captaining their own ship as far as their beliefs are concerned.

illawarrior hill

1/11/2013 8:51:29 AM

Religion, all religion, started as nothing more than a method of controlling uneducated populations. From there, it met different needs in different people, and progressed accordingly. Approx 33% of the world identifies as christian; 21% as muslim and 15% as not affiliated to any religion. The numbers rejecting organised religions, are growing rapidly - some are non-believers, whilst others believe that their spiritual relationship is personal, and do not require any organisational structure.

Adrian Green

1/7/2013 11:28:38 AM

Mr Bayraktar has not a clue as to what Christianity is, not surprising since most people in the west don't either. As a foreign Protestant Christian living in Turkey I can assure you that those who become Christians here are not well tolerated in society largely because the population at large has many misconceptions about who and what we are. Being demonized to the extent that we are does get a little tiring at times!

Pawel Bury

1/7/2013 10:59:14 AM

According to 2012 report of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Turkey is listed as a country of particular concern for religious freedom limitations to Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Syriac Orthodoxs, Roman Catholics and Protestants, along with Tajikistan, Myanmar, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. In a 2009 survey, 59% said that members of other (non-Muslim) faiths should not even be allowed to hold meetings.

Jon Goodfellow

1/5/2013 7:15:34 PM

Other differences between No. American, European Christianity and Islamic world is relation of gov't to religion. In US, go'vt has no role in religious choice, but also does not defend against economic colonization of conscience, whereas in Europe it does have passive role in religious preference (state sanctioned churches) and does try to defend against economic colonization of conscience. Islam sees a role for gov't facilitating spiritual practice. Question is what role today.

Jon Goodfellow

1/5/2013 7:03:34 PM

Minister Bayaktar and Safiyah Noor Page have some good observations about Christianity and its conflation with a demeaning culture. It finds it fullest experession in North America today, where economic interest has colonized the individual conscience and replaced the moral teachings of religious experience: i.e, "Supply Side Jesus". But they misconstrue it as a Western plot. Christianity is more complex than they think. See Philip Jenkins "The Next Christendom: Coming of Global Christianity"

Peter Kypros

1/5/2013 8:18:25 AM

What made Christianity popular is the ability of Christian countries to make it as it should have been in the first place a religion of personal choice not one imposed by any government or establishment. Many Muslims support the same notion of having their religion be a personal choice. Obviously some manipulators of Islam would not be happy about it. The Christian church was not happy about it either back in the 18 century.

Ken Alden

1/3/2013 5:18:15 PM

Correction: On my posting @Mike Taylor, the last word should read 'Palestinians' rather than 'Indegenous'!

Ken Alden

1/3/2013 7:32:44 AM

@ Mike Taylor, although I don't have such a long assosiation with Turkey, I too have found memory of Turkey & it's People. Presently there is an awakening in many Moslem countries, creating Militant groupings & agitators. I prefer to call them Moslem 'Fanatic or Militants, rather then Tar & Federing of entire Nations, with the newly concacted deragqtory code word "Islamist" to be sinanomous by association with Terrorist, just because many Moslems do not accept harships imposed on indegenous!

mesude salihli

1/3/2013 12:04:22 AM

Safiyah Noor, Islam is the most politicized religion of the three. I hope good muslims will wake up from the deep sleep they are in to realize how much mixing with politics eroded the excellent values of their religion.
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