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His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: An Interview on 60 minutes
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|(CBS) Would it surprise you to learn that one of the world’s most important Christian leaders, second only to the pope, lives in a country where 99 percent of the population is Muslim? His name is Bartholomew, and he is the patriarch of 300 million Orthodox Christians. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey, the latest in a line of patriarchs who have resided there since before there was a Turkey, since the centuries following the death of Jesus Christ.|
That’s when Istanbul was called Constantinople and was the most important city in the Christian world.
But times change, and in modern Muslim Turkey the patriarch doesn’t feel very welcome. Turkish authorities have seized Christian properties and closed Christian churches, monasteries and schools. His parishioners are afraid that the authorities want to force Bartholomew and his church – the oldest of all Christian churches – out of Turkey.
His official title is impressive: “His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, Ecumenical Patriarch.”
“Ecumenical” means “universal,” and worldwide, 300 million Orthodox Christians look to him for spiritual guidance.
60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon first met him in Istanbul. It was Easter, and worshipers from throughout the Orthodox Christian world had come to celebrate Christ’s resurrection on the holiest day of their calendar with the man who they see as their pope.