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  • Author or Editor: Konstantinos Papastathis x
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In: 'The House of the Priest'
In: 'The House of the Priest'
In: Ordinary Jerusalem, 1840-1940

The First World War and the ensuing disintegration of the Ottoman Empire into western colonies was perceived as an opportunity for a potential alteration of the ‘Status Quo’, namely the special legal framework according to which the rights and privileges of each Church were determined within the religious landscape of Palestine. The course of action taken by the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem regarding the political developments at that time is the topic of this paper. It is argued that the policy adopted by the religious officials was that of close collaboration with the British Authorities, based on the premise that London was the only Power able to effectively protect their interests. To this end, special attention is paid to the power-strategies of the interested parties as well as the relevant activities of the Greek state, which aspired to assume the role of the protecting Power of the Orthodox commonwealth in the place of Russia after the fall of the Tsarist regime.

In: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to elaborate on the Jerusalem Orthodox Patriarchate’s missionary work in late Ottoman times, paying special attention on its incapacity to counteract the activities of its rivals within the religious market of Palestine. In particular, the article addresses the following research questions: What was the extent of the Patriarchate’s missionary activity, and its stance vis-à-vis the work of the other Church missions, i.e. the Roman-Catholic, and Protestant? Was its policy effective; and if not, why? Overall, the article argues that neither the missionary enterprise nor the blocking of the western missions’ conversion activities were at the top of the patriarchal agenda. It is suggested that the causes of this stance were mainly: a) the financial and political disadvantageous position of the institution; b) the centrality of the custodianship of the Holy Places as the primary aim of its function; and c) the development of Greek nationalism as the nodal point of the discourse.

In: Social Sciences and Missions