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Witnesses For Christ: Orthodox Christian Neomartyrs of the Ottoman Period 1437-1860

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Nomikos Michael Vaporis






Neomartyrs consist of Orthodox men, women and teenagers, of Albanian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Greek, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Syrian and Ukrainian heritage who found themselves during the Muslim Ottoman hegemony (13th -20th century) in a situation which required them to choose between converting to the Muslim faith to preserve their lives and suffering, torture and certain death if they persisted in remaining Orthodox Christians.

There is little doubt that the public execution of the Neomartyrs and their heroic public endurance of the many tortures inflicted upon them, which became widely known to other Orthodox Christians, contributed greatly to the buttressing of the Orthodox Christian faith of the various Orthodox Christian peoples living in Ottoman Muslim society.

Except for the Albanians and the Greek inhabitants of several Aegean Islands, which were protected for centuries by Latin powers, only those people who remained Orthodox Christians preserved their distinct cultures and were able to identify themselves later as Bulgarians, Greeks, Romanians and Serbians. Hence, if there are people today who consider themselves to be Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians, and Serbians, it is because their ancestors remained Orthodox Christians despite the pressure to convert and all the advantages they could have enjoyed over a period of four to seven centuries. Those who did convert from among these people consider themselves to be Turks and or Muslims to this day. — Witness For Christ


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