In 1892, nearly 300 000 Syrian Orthodox Christians in Afghanistan converted to Islam. Reason: The rivalry between the Patriarchates in Mardin and Turabdin.
The Christians in Afghanistan belonged to the secessionist church of Turabdin, which was no longer able to supply them with priests. What is remarkable is that the then Patriarch of Antioch, who had his residence at the Zafaran monastery, is said to have cooperated with the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to ensure that the congregation of Afghanistan converted to Islam.
30 years later, another Patriarch allowed himself to be purchased by the parliament of the new Turkish Republic for 5,000 schillings (kurush) a month. His quid pro quo: To deny the genocide Seyfo and show unconditioned loyalty to the Republic. He would also let his subjects in Mardin and Turabdin remain under Turkish sovereignty as the map of the Middle East was redrawn by the great powers France and Great Britain. The Patriarch was Elias III Shaker, who also played a crucial role in making the Lausanne Treaty a Turkish victory.
The story is told by history scientist Jan Beth-