Last week 60 Minutes aired an episode about Mt. Athos, a sacred mountain in Greece that is home to 22 monasteries.
Praying goes on 24 hours a day there, and all the monks are committed to a life of prayer that focuses on becoming closer to Jesus. The monasteries are thousands of years old, and because of this Mt. Athos is considered one of the most sacred sites on earth.
There are 35,000 visitors to this holy mountain every year, and they are all male. Women are not allowed on the mountain. One of the monks explained the reasoning behind this rule. “When these communities were first formed, women were allowed in as visitors. We found it distracting for the monks, and they didn’t stay as focused on their prayer life. That was when we instituted our policy that no women were allowed on the mountain.”
How do you feel about the fact that the answer to the monk’s inability to ‘focus on prayer’ with women present was to ban the women from this sacred site?