|dc.description.abstract||This thesis explores the reasons that contributed to the decline of the Christian population
during the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. Furthermore, the study compares the
differences and similarities in the causes of the decline of Christianity in the land of Turkey
during the Medieval and modem eras.
In the Byzantine Empire, especially during the late periods of the 11 th -15th centuries, the
Eastern Church was not independent. Most of the time, the Church subordinated herself to
the state. This subordination led to compromise with the political power and spiritual
deterioration. The clergymen, for instance, lived a loose lifestyle and neglected their
responsibilities. Moreover, the Church's original eschatological expectation and apocalyptic
ideas dissipated. The teaching of the Scripture was ignored.
The Church in the Ottoman Empire existed under the Muslim authority. Christians became
second-rate citizens, and lived in restricted situations under the Islamic law for about four
hundred years. Many Christians became Muslims because of various advantageous options
that were given by the Muslim rulers during the 15th - 17th centuries. Like the Byzantine
Church, the Church in the Ottoman Empire was also corrupted by the financial greed of the
bishops who had political ambitions.
With the coming of missionaries in the nineteenth century, the Christian minority lived
energetic lives for a century. However, when nationalism arose among the minorities, the
Church got deeply involved in politics and suffered with their parishioners. As a result,
numerous Greeks, and over one million Armenians paid their lives for their earthly freedom
from the Ottoman Empire during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Christian population
shrank. Sadly, only a handful of Christians have remained. The study concludes that although
various reasons contributed to the decline of Christianity and Christian population, the main
reason was the Church herself.||en_US