Xulon author Nicholas Papanicolaou is no stranger to hard work. Born in Athens, Greece, he came to the United States when he was sixteen to attend boarding school in Massachusetts. After earning a bachelors degree in Economics from Harvard, a masters in Business Administration from Columbia, and a doctorate in Theology from Phoenix University of Theology, he went on to a successful business career, and later made his mark as one of the founding members of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, a NGO registered in Vienna.
“As a Greek, I’ve had exposure to Greece’s history and the impacts of Islam. The spark that started all of this was the speech Obama gave in Cairo, saying that the U.S. was no longer a Christian nation. The point of this book was to address the misrepresentation of Christianity and Islam. It’s an effort to expose the truth.”
An effort widely deemed as a successful one; he even received a call from one of the leaders of the Shi’ite community in Beirut to congratulate him on the writing.
His second book, Bring Down That Wall
, examines the premise that it’s a fundamental right of the state (and not the federal government) to set relations between church and state. Nicholas writes that the Supreme Court has misinterpreted the founding father’s original intentions, and taken things into their own hands which should be mandated by state rule. He contends that SCOTUS has banned God out of public life with its recent rulings—even all the way back to Roe v. Wade, to now with the recent ruling on gay marriage.
“Each of these books address the master issue—separation of church and state,” Nicholas states. “The ramifications are indicative of other issues.”
Nicholas also strives to be a person who enables discussion and empathy, which is what inspired him to start the World Public Forum Organization, along with with two other founders. The WPFO brings together more than 700 officials and representatives from more than sixty countries, for discussions on cross-religious and cross-cultural issues.
“Samuel Huntington (Harvard) had just put out The Clash of Civilizations, and we hoped that, before world relations got to a dire point, everyone could talk and influence each other, and try to see each other’s point of view.”
The forum, which is not meant to resolve issues, but provide a safe haven for open communication and compromise, is working.
“It has gotten people to talk, such as an imam and rabbi, regardless of opposing cultures.”
After having accomplished so much, it’s easy to wonder what’s next for Nicholas Papanicolaou—but there isn’t much left on his bucket list.
“I’d like to settle into older age without worries and confrontations. I’m actually afraid the whole world is headed into bigger storms than we think. The clash will be between the Jewish/Christian world and Islam. I do wish for peace and better understanding between these forces.”
For now, Nicholas, who believes that everything he’s done has come from God, and from the doors He’s opened for him, certainly isn’t done yet.