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Photis Kontoglou, Christianity and Islam - Two related, yet different religions
How intensely the western man is tied with rationalism, is evident by the distortion Christianity suffered in Europe, where she became little by little a system of worldly knowledge, having as a purpose earthly happiness and not salvation of the soul, which the Christ taught. In the West even theology was subdued to rationalism, and became herself a science like all sciences.
In the East religion remained religion. Even mohammedanism, what is called Islam, an inferior perception of religion, with some crude commands, yet kept pure its religious character, away from innovations and adaptations to each epoch, that is, away from rationalization. The material means by which the religion of Koran is expressing herself, the mosque, the hodga, chanting, decoration, vestments of the clergy, ceremonies, all remained totally unchanged, as they were when Islam started.
At a time when Christian religion was distorted by innovations dictated by a rationalistic worldly spirit, wherefrom Papacy was born, and also Protestantism and the rest of their branches, something that did not happen with Orthodoxy, which remained unchanged, being the Christianity of the East, mohammedanism stands always as it was from the start, that is, it remained a “religion”.
From this aspect our Orthodox Church is partly closer to mohammedanism than to the so-called Christians in the West, because mohammedanism did not cease to be a religion and remained unspoiled by the spirit of the world, the utilitarian spirit. This explains why we see Arabs kissing in deep reverence the cloth or the beard of our priests, and mohammedans to be baptised Christian Orthodox and some times to become martyrs for Christ, while none, not one, papal or protestant is among the new martyrs that were beheaded or hanged at the times when Turks reigned over us. Christians who were tortured and became martyrs for the name of Christ in Persia, are countless.
Cf. Pope Benedict XVI, The Papal Science * The union of Orthodoxy with Papacy : a discussion