Orthodox Christian faith in Athos: In the Middle East and Greek Orthodox Church, Easter is celebrated this weekend. We’re going to take you – with CBS 60 minutes – to a place outside our world. It’s a remote peninsula in northern Greece that millions believe to be the most sacred spot on Earth.
It’s called Mount Athos and prayers have been offered there every day, with no interruption, for more than a thousand years. This is the center of the Orthodox Christian Faith.
Orthodox Christian faith in Athos: The rare TV program gives insight into the world of Middle Eastern, Russian and Mediterranean Christians who have remained true to the original texts and fathers in the centuries after Christ.
The Orthodox Christian faith is resurging in the West, both the Greek Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox – both also called the Orthodox Catholic Church, as Protestant churches are weakened by the steady persecution of the atheist mainstream.
Orthodoxy implies to follow “the way”, a practical Christianity focused on helping those in need, with a distinct focus on not adding anything or subtracting elements from the original Christian faith, as practiced by the apostles and ordained by Jesus himself.
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Mount Athos was set aside by ancient emperors to be the spiritual capital of Orthodox Byzantine Christianity and has probably changed less over the centuries than any other inhabited place on the planet.
It is from here that the Orthodox Church has its spiritual center, only allowed to visit by men. Hundreds of monks live here on a permanent basis, examining the Scriptures, praying, fasting, living a simple life dedicated to that which is holy.
As we live in a time of steady persecution of the Christian faith in the West, with the mainstream media depicting Christians and the historic traditions of Europe as some ancient relics from the past – the very values that once made the West such a great civilization – the Orthodox have endured persecution for centuries.
As Islam entered the then Christian Middle East around year 600 AF onward, the Christian communities were steadily pushed aside, thousands of churches were made into mosques, many forcefully converted to Islam.
The Eastern Orthodox Church has learned to live with persecution, and thus has ways of dealing with this that makes the church relevant to those under atheist persecution in the West today.
The aim of the Orthodox Church is to keep the original faith as Master Jesus taught it and the spiritual teachers in the centuries after Christ.
This aspect is refreshing for many protestants who today live in countries in the West where the Church has been infiltrated by both atheist and liberal thinking in such a way that many priests do not even believe in the virgin birth of Jesus.
Let alone a number of the central Christian dogmas, such as the existence of Hades and the miracles of Christ.