SAT-7 Explores Turkey’s Christian Legacy

People visit Hagia Sophia or Ayasofya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was a Byzantine cathedral before being converted into a mosque which is currently a museum, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 30, 2020. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

The Hagia Sophia is now open as a mosque. The ancient Christian church had been used as a museum since 1934, celebrating the cultural diversity of Turkey.

The conversion has caused a lot of controversies. Many Christians are saddened by the move, especially as Christian icons in the church are covered up during prayers.

UNESCO has criticized the move, saying, “Hagia Sophia is an architectural masterpiece and a unique testimony to interactions between Europe and Asia over the centuries. Its status as a museum reflects the universal nature of its heritage, and makes it a powerful symbol for dialogue.” Read the full statement here.

Syria even has plans to build a replica of the Hagia Sophia that will serve as an Orthodox Christian church. Russia has promised to help construct this new building.

Rex Rogers of SAT-7 says, “It’s a beautiful facility . . . there are incredible frescoes and other kinds of paintings that are being restored. And of course, the dome is a magnificent architectural heritage. So it still stands. And we’re grateful for that, glad for it. We trust the Turkish people will value it. And whatever usage they put to it, its history is still there.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray that many would come to Christ as they see God’s faithfulness to His people in Turkey throughout the centuries.
  • Ask God to make Christians the salt and light of Turkey, as they have been for thousands of years.