Pope stresses Christianity's origins outside Europe

Pope Benedict has reminded the faithful that Christianity’s roots lie deep in the Old Testament, and that it is not a European export.

Catholic News Agency reports the Pope, speaking at his weekly address, reflected on St Ephrem the Syrian’s ministry, saying the “most famous poet of the patristic age” was born in modern day Turkey.

"It is widely believed today that Christianity is a European religion which subsequently exported that continent's culture to other countries. But the truth is much more complex," the Pope said.

"The roots of the Christian religion are in Jerusalem and the Semitic world. And Christianity constantly draws nourishment from these Old Testament roots,” he said.

The Pope said during the first centuries of Christianity, it spread both
to the Greco-Latin world where it later inspired European culture and also eastwards to Persia and India, where it contributed to the formation of a specific culture, in Semitic languages and with its own identity.

Pope Benedict also spoke of St Ephrem’s gift for poetry, which "enabled him to deepen his theological reflections through the use of paradox and images."

Christianity is not a European export, says the Pope,(Catholic News Agency 28/11/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Ephrem the Syrian (Wikipedia)
Vatican Information Service

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