The Truth About Santa Claus
Saint Nicholas was born in Greco-Roman Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey known as Demre.
During his life, Constantine became Emperor, following Diocletian who had persecuted Christians, including Nicholas. Christianity then flourished, replacing Greek and Roman Pagan deities, becoming the primary religion. However, after the Seljuk Turks conquest (11th–13th centuries) and with the Ottoman Empire’s long reign (14th–20th centuries), the dominant religion in this land, evangelized by the Apostle Paul, became Islamic. Today, after the expulsion of Greek Christians in 1922, 99.8%* of Turkish people are Muslim, though Turkey is officially a secular state.
In the early 1950s Turks realized that the Bishop of Myra, Saint Nicholas, was none other than the western world’s Santa Claus or Father Christmas. Just as the good saint had brought pilgrims to Myra, and later to Bari, Italy, it was hoped he would again attract tourists and pilgrims with their lira, euros, and dollars.Click here for reuse options!
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