Can somebody please remind the Islamists that this is NOT a Holy war? And that they’re a religion of peace?
The Hagia Sophia is one of the most beautiful and well-known buildings in the world — and Islamists have detested that fact for years. After all, it is a Christian church, and therefore a Christian symbol.
That’s why the Ottoman Turks wasted little time transforming the church into a mosque when they invaded and conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) centuries ago. Christian symbols and works of art were destroyed or covered, and a dominating tower was built from which the Islamic call to prayer could be sung.
The Ottomans did that because they wanted to show Christians that, from then onwards, Islam was in power. Christianity would be subjugated.
That changed in the 20th century, when the Ottoman Empire fell and was succeeded by the secular Turkish Republic. The Hagia Sophia was declared a neutral place for Christians and Muslims (and for people of all other religions). The church/mosque was made into a museum where everybody was welcome.
This fear has now been validated: last Friday, the Turkish government announced that it had appointed a permanent imam to the Hagia Sophia.
This means that the Islamic call to prayer will now be heard five times a day, instead of two times — and that it will basically function as any other mosque:
Earlier this month, Rev. Andrew Brunson and his wife Norine were arrested for supposedly being “national security threats.” That’s an excuse this government always uses to take out those who don’t support the president. Brunson has been arrested because of his work for Christ.
Pray for them, the other Turkish Christians, and even pray for those who say they are enemies of Christianity.