chapter  2
53 Pages

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

WithArchimandrite Nikodemos Anagnostopoulos

This chapter sets out the religious political environment and development of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, based on its important and historical role as a religious institution of the Eastern Orthodox Christian world, not only within the dynamic context of Turkey, where it has been based since its foundation in the fourth century, but also its significance to global Christianity in terms of the question of religious minorities in modern Turkish society. It also analyses the development of Eastern Orthodox theological thought and understanding in relation to religious freedom, Orthodox ecclesiology and Muslim–Christian relations, and brings to the forefront the obstacles that the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Greek Orthodox minority of Istanbul still face in Turkey. The chapter sheds light on the recent positive developments of the Turkish government towards the Greek Orthodox minority and the future of the Patriarchate, and identifies the necessity for further development in the light of full Turkish membership of the EU.