Worldwide pushback is happening against the decision by Turkey’s President Erdogan to turn a historic church into a mosque.
On today’s Jay Sekulow Live, we discussed the international pushback to Turkey’s decision to convert the iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The Christian mosaics contained inside the historic Church are being covered up.
The fight to preserve Hagia Sophia as a museum in Istanbul that all can visit, both Christians and Muslims, is ongoing. The work is continuing to uncover the Byzantine, Roman, and early Christian artwork. These are early depictions of Christ. We’re talking about the depictions of Christ made just five hundred years after the Resurrection. It was the largest religious place of worship in the world until the Vatican was built.
This is a historic holy site, but then it became a symbol of conquering from different Christian groups. Then it became a symbol of conquering from the Ottoman Turks, and they turned it into a mosque. But former President of Turkey Atatürk, who was a more secular leader, said that he didn’t want this symbol of Turkey, this great site, to be a symbol of conquering. Ataturk wanted Turkey to be seen a diverse people with different kinds of Muslims, Christians, and other faiths. That’s why he made it a museum for everyone. That’s why he uncovered what was covered up, the Christian artwork depicting images of Christ, the Disciples, Mary, and baby Jesus. In the Islamic world they use text because they cannot use images. Christianity does not have that same restriction. At Hagia Sophia, you could see both because it was a museum for all people.
Thankfully, we are starting to see major worldwide condemnation against this move to turn Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque. We’re even seeing condemnation from the Islamic Society of North America and the United Arab Emirates, which is an absolute Islamic monarchy governed by Sharia Law. They are opposed to what Turkey is doing.
My dad, Jay Sekulow, made the following point:
Now this is historic. The Islamic Society of North America released a statement condemning Turkey’s conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. So this direct attack on Christianity is being met with worldwide condemnation but also worldwide condemnation in the Muslim world. The United Arab Emirates said the same thing.
That is very good news.
The ACLJ is taking action. We said the following in a recent blog:
The ACLJ will continue to closely monitor Turkey’s actions against Christians and Christian churches, and we are already mobilizing our legal and Government Affairs teams to protect this historic Christian church. We have stood before the U.N. before, delivering critical oral and written submissions, regarding Turkey’s violations of its U.N. charter and its own constitution which both demand it respect and protect the religious freedom.
The full broadcast is complete with much more conversation by our team about the worldwide backlash against Turkey’s move to turn the historic Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Watch the full broadcast below.
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