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Old 12-11-2012, 10:49 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch1013 View Post
There are also Christian communities in Turkey, for example Polonezköy -- a Polish village near Istanbul that is a popular weekend getaway and provides secular Turks with the opportunity to enjoy such Polish delicacies as vodka and pork.

Mavi Boncuk: Polonezkoy
Yep, definitely. A lot of Turks are pretty agnostic/atheist, although you know...they still register as Muslims. Istanbul was the first capital of the "christian empire" of course and you can see it in various aspects there (i.e. Chora Church, Aya Sofya, etc). The Ottoman Empire did the whole Islam thing, but they also accepted around 200,000 Jews from Spain in 1492 who stayed there (and many are still there). The Ottomans were sweet. They were kind of like the US in some aspects with freedom of religion and having multiple religions, advancement through science..before the US or any other nation like it started.

I guess the point in all of it before was that people who don't know their history thing Muslims and Jews have been fighting for a long time, but it's a fairly recent thing in the last 110-120 years when they had been living together since the 7th and 8th century AD (and technically before since most Middle Eastern Jews share pretty much very similar DNA to the Arab Muslim counterparts) without any major conflict. The Jews in Muslim controlled land were minority status and had some laws against them (like you can't have a horse taller than a Muslim's horse) but it was nothing amazingly bad.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:18 AM
 
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The region of Kalmykia in Russia has a large Buddhist population descended from the Mongolians that migrated there. In fact, its the only Buddhist sub-national entity in Europe.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Turkey was majority Christian I think before the Ottomans (correct me if I'm wrong). In the ancient world western Anatolia was Greek, and many of the churches Paul writes to in his epistles like Ephesus and Gallacia were in Turkey (Asia Minor). Cappadocia is famous for it's many homes and churches hewn out of the natural 'domes.'
Turkey was a muslim country from seventh century or so; it conquered and subjected under Islam Christian countries that were part of Byzantine Empire. So Byzantium was Christian, Turkey was Islamic already before the Ottomans.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Yep, definitely. A lot of Turks are pretty agnostic/atheist, although you know...they still register as Muslims. Istanbul was the first capital of the "christian empire" of course and you can see it in various aspects there (i.e. Chora Church, Aya Sofya, etc). The Ottoman Empire did the whole Islam thing, but they also accepted around 200,000 Jews from Spain in 1492 who stayed there (and many are still there). The Ottomans were sweet.
Yeah, right...
Tell that to Serbs or Bulgarians.

Russo-Turkish War (1877

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:36 AM
 
Location: Near Tours, France about 47°10'N 0°25'E
2,872 posts, read 4,499,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Turkey was majority Christian I think before the Ottomans (correct me if I'm wrong). In the ancient world western Anatolia was Greek, and many of the churches Paul writes to in his epistles like Ephesus and Gallacia were in Turkey (Asia Minor). Cappadocia is famous for it's many homes and churches hewn out of the natural 'domes.'
most of the middle east was christian and jew before islam became the majority. Arabia was moslty polytheist and jewish when islam was born. the countries further north (jordan, Palestine, Liban, Syria, Turquey, etc) were part of eastern Roman empire when Islam conquest took them, and were moslty christian. Anatolia stayed in the eastern roman empire (of greek language) for a few centuries after the rise of islam. Many people probably do not realise that islam is not rooted since so much time in the near east, the islamisation was quite a progressive process and many christians and jews lived side by side with muslims. The fact the muslims represent the big majorities is relatively recent phenomenon in many near eastern countries. Lebanon was still majoritary christian until middle of 20th century.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:01 AM
 
Location: Near Tours, France about 47°10'N 0°25'E
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Originally Posted by irish_bob View Post
germany while having a slightly larger catholic population is not catholic in the way spain , italy or ireland is , its culturally protestant - lutheran , the netherlands is also culturally protestant - calvinist despite having an almost equal number of catholics and protestants

australia is hard to call but new zealand is most certainly culturally presbyterian as is scotland of course

western canada is culturally protestant while eastern canada is not , ive relatives in vancouver island and while catholic , are indistinguishable from the flanders family in the simpsons

i realise theese things are not offically recognised but like ive said before , religon has influenced countries to what they are today , even somewhere like denmark or sweeden , while largely post religous states , are both culturally lutheran

I agree, I think there are two ways when speaking about religion in various countries.
1- Speaking of the degree of actual religious personal practice or believe in religion.
2- Speaking of which religion mostly left its cultural background (historic religion)

One person coming from a culturally Islamic country, even if atheist or non-muslim will have a cultural "mind-format" different than someone from a culturally protestant country.

Western European countries are usually either of Protestant-rooted culture or catholic-rooted culture.
It seems that religious practice is relatively low in protestant-rooted countries; I don't think that it makes them anyless culturally protestant: Scandinavia, northern Germany, Netherlands, UK.

In the cuturally catholic countries ther are countries with high religiosity such as Ireland, Poland or Portugal; or countries with low-religiosity such as Czech republic or in a leasser extend France. And countries "with average religiosity" such as Spain (Spain is not anymore the ultra-catholic country it was during Franco).
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ief_in_god.svg
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fichier...ion_map_fr.png

It is interesting to see that countries with similar cultural roots such as Poland and Czech republic (both considered central European, Slavic and culturally/historically Catholic countries); usually limped into the same linguistic/cultural and geographic group can have such divergences concerning actual religiosity.

Last edited by french user; 12-12-2012 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:20 AM
 
Location: western East Roman Empire
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Originally Posted by french user View Post
Most of the middle east was Christian and Jew before Islam became the majority. Arabia was moslty polytheist and Jewish when Islam was born. The countries further north (Jordan, Palestine, Liban, Syria, Turquey, etc) were part of Eastern Roman Empire when Islam conquest took them, and were moslty Christian. Anatolia stayed in the Eastern Roman Empire (of Greek language) for a few centuries after the rise of Islam. Many people probably do not realise that Islam is not rooted since so much time in the Near East, the Islamisation was quite a progressive process and many Christians and Jews lived side by side with Muslims. The fact the Muslims represent the big majorities is relatively recent phenomenon in many Near Eastern countries. Lebanon was still majority Christian until middle of 20th century.

Jewish, Christian, and Islamic religions have a common root, ultimately centering around the city of Jerusalem. Their common father, in human and symbolic terms, is Abraham, who had two sons, in human and symbolic terms, Ismail (son of Hagar) and Isaac (son of Sarah) (i.e. Muslims and Jews), while Jesus of Nazareth, in human and symbolic terms, is from the house of David (son of Jesse, son of Ruth).

In political terms, the Islamic group has dominated among the three from the 600s onwards in their common homeland and the eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia at large, but the three groups co-existed, more or less peacefully, over the centuries until relatively recently (advent of the industrialized western Europeans).

The original languages of the three are Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic - all Semitic languages - and Greek, plus Coptic which is a derivative of ancient Egyptian in a Greek-derivative script, plus also Ethiopian, which has its own script, can't remember if the language has a separate technical name (like Coptic), though I believe it may also be Semitic.

The language of the Jewish religion is Hebrew, for a period of around 300 years after Alexander the Great mostly Greek, then in the century or so after Jesus and onwards mostly Hebrew again. Most of Christian literature in the first four hundred years or so is in Greek, Syriac and Coptic. The language of Islam is Arabic, even the Ottoman Turks used Arabic script (perhaps the Persians too for a time, can't remember right now).

Christianity, then, has its roots in the eastern Mediterranean, transplanted to the western Mediterranean and, later, Europe. A Latin translation of the Bible was not widespread until around the year 400. The first major Christian writer in Latin was Saint Augustine, around 400.

The Germanics, who overran Europe (and for a brief time the western southern Mediterranean) around, well, 400, are to Christianity what the Turks, who conquered the eastern Mediterranean around 1500, are to Islam, though the Germanics used Latin script, not Greek. And the Germanics basically took over administration of the Rome-based church around 800, around the time that the Islamic Arabs were threatening Europe.

The western Europeans attempted invasions of the eastern Mediterranean several times starting in the 1000s (aka the Crusades): the Greek-speaking eastern Mediterranean church and the Latin-speaking western European church officially split up in 1054 when the Norman-dominated western Europeans tried to invade Greece. The western Europeans succeeded in conquering Constantinople in 1204 and they maintained a kingdom centered around Jerusalem until around 1500 when the Ottomans expelled them.

An English translation of the Bible was not widespread until around 1600, after the western European Christians split off into two major groups. By now that translation is another language to contemporary English speakers - I certainly can't understand it - and a host of new translations has cropped up in the past 30 years or so.

I do translations for a living, believe me, I do not trust a Latin or English or any other non-original modern-language translation of the Bible, I usually do my own translations.

Anyway, Christianity is an eastern Mediterranean phenomenon, and the three groups more or less co-existed peacefully, except during times when the western Europeans interfered, including very recently (and most ferociously), as mentioned.

Western Christians, then, aka Catholics and Protestants, are a weird offshoot, the further west the weirder they get (e.g. absolutely incomprehensible and ridiculous creationism vs. evolution debate, based on laughable basic misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Bible).


Hinduism started in India more or less at the same time as Judaism, perhaps even before, and its language was Sanskrit. Buddhism started around 500 years before Christianity. Like Christianity, however, it was supplanted in its home base in political terms respectively by Islam in the eastern Mediterranean and reversion back to Hinduism in India, and they found more fertile ground elsewhere, Christianity to the west, Buddhism to the east , with Islam in between by and large. In spiritual terms, both Christianity and Buddhism lost a lot in the translation, were instrumentalized, and repressed.

Christianity as the dominant political force in western Europe ended around 1800. The rest is industrialization, consumerism and echo. What happened in Russia and China in the 1900s is easier to discern from afar. The main Islamic countries may be going through political liberalization and major industrialization only now, so we are seeing and will continue see the impact of these developments and struggles on Islam in political terms.


I agree with an above poster who observes that religion, loosely put, is mostly an ethno-political description.

Just a few years ago I read the results of a survey on the percentage of those who actively participate in their religion and church organization, comparing countries as disparate as Russia, Greece and the United Kingdom. In all these places, the number came to about 5%, which I find credible.

In fact, I estimate that since the year one only about 5% or less of any population has been seriously interested in spiritual culture, regardless of name, and the rest is babbling (Babeling?) echo.

Good Luck!

Last edited by bale002; 12-12-2012 at 07:02 AM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:49 PM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Turkey was a muslim country from seventh century or so; it conquered and subjected under Islam Christian countries that were part of Byzantine Empire. So Byzantium was Christian, Turkey was Islamic already before the Ottomans.
The Turks were Muslim long before they conquered Constantinople and Anatolia. But "Turkey" only existed under Ataturk's revolution. Before the conquest of Byzantine lands, the Turks formed various kingdoms and sultantes (note, not "Turkey"), such as the Great Seljug Empire and the Sultanate of Rum.

Back to the topic.
  • Malaysia is often seen as a Muslim country, but it has a substantial non-Muslim population, at about 39%. The state of Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo has the largest Christian population of any Malaysian state, at 44%, and is the state's largest religion.
  • Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, but Islam is not the sole official religion - the country recognizes 6 faiths. Much of Eastern Indonesia is Christian - Indonesian Papua and North Sulawesi have Protestant majorities, Flores and West Timor have Catholic majorities, and almost half of the population of Maluku is Christian (the other half being Muslim). Around 9% of Indonesians are Christian (~22 million people). The tourist island of Bali is predominantly Hindu - one of the last bastions of Hinduism in Southeast Asia.
  • Thailand is a Buddhist nation, but 4 of its southern provinces (bordering Malaysia) are predominantly Muslim - Satun, Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani. They used to be part of the Malay realm until their annexation by Siam one or two centuries ago. Most Muslims are of ethnic Malay with the rest being of Thai or mixed Malay-Thai. The latter three provinces have seen a still ongoing Islamic separatist insurgency for almost a decade.
  • The Philippines is one of the two predominantly Christian (and Roman Catholic) countries in Asia, the other being East Timor. Several southernmost provinces on the island of Mindanao and the whole of the Sulu Archipelago are historically and predominantly Muslim.
  • Vietnam has a Buddhist majority, but it also boasts the second largest Catholic population in Asia after the Philippines, at about 6 million believers (6.6% of Vietnamese).
  • 10 out of 56 recognized minorities of China are Muslim ethnic groups.
  • Almost a quarter of the population of Marseille, France's largest port city is of North African descent (Muslim by default).
  • Geneva, Switzerland has historically been linked to Calvinist Protestantism, and was the stronghold of the Calvinist faith in the Reformation era. However today, Catholics have surpassed the Protestants in the city, according to the latest statistics.
  • The Netherlands is traditionally being linked to Protestantism. The royalty still holds on to the Dutch Reformed (Calvinist) faith. However in the latest statistics, Catholics have surpassed the Protestants (24% against 16%). In 1947, 44.3% belonged to Protestant denominations, 38.7% belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, and 17.1% were unaffiliated. How times have changed.
  • It's been said that London is home to the largest population of White Muslim converts in the Western world.
  • Liverpool has more Catholics than any other city in the UK, with more than 500,000 Catholics (46%). The city also houses the first mosque in the country.
  • In South Korea, the rapid growth of Christianity (esp Protestantism) after the Korean War has made it the largest religion in the country today (30%), surpassing the traditional religions of Buddhism and Confucianism. However due to several high profile controversies, Protestant churches have suffered a decline in recent years while Catholic churches have benefited from this and experienced a boom in membership.
  • Egypt is predominantly Muslim, but the Christian minority is the largest in the Middle East, at between 8-13 million (10-15%).
  • Lebanon has the largest percentage of Christians of any country in the Middle East, at 41%. The parliamentary seats of the state maintains a 50:50 ratio between Christians and Muslims. The President is required by constitution to be a Christian (generally a Maronite Catholic, the country's largest Christian denomination), the Prime Minister a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker of the Parliament a Shiite Muslim.
  • Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is predominantly Muslim today due to the continuous exodus of Christians to the West and the high birthrate and influx of Muslims. However, the constitution states that the city mayor must be a Christian.
  • Of the four major khanates of the Mongol Empire, three eventually became Muslim. Mongolia remains a Buddhist-majority country today, of Tibetan Buddhist extraction.
  • Romania and Moldova are the only Orthodox Christian countries in the world that speak a Romance/Latinate language.

Last edited by kyh; 12-12-2012 at 01:17 PM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:51 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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Armenia and Ethiopia are (or at least claim to be) the first and second countries, respectively, to convert to Christianity.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:12 PM
 
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
What facts about the spread about religions around the world might surprise the layperson? For instance, someone might expect Bangladesh to be mostly Hindu, but it's overwhelmingly Muslim
I'm guessing the entire India/Pakistan/Bangladesh issue has been forgotten?
Quote:
Japan is probably the most atheistic country in the world.
Er, no.
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