July 13, 2020 – In the latest blow to Christianity, Hagia Sophia, one of the most important places to the Orthodox Church, is being converted into a mosque.
What the Hagia Sophia ruling means to Orthodox Christians: “It’s like if Saint Peter’s had been turned into a mosque…the seat of that church is no longer operating as a church and is in the hands of a rival religion". (Historian Pete Talbot). https://t.co/l1cfKHfU1s
— David Quinn (@DavQuinn) July 11, 2020
The Hagia Sophia is a beautiful church, with incredible mosaics inside. The building was created to be able to amplify certain acoustics, enhancing the beautiful chanting and singing to reverberate throughout the building.
This decision to change the Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque has caused outrage among Christians, as this is supposed to be a protected historical site.
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan
— Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) July 13, 2020
Some members of the Orthodox Christian church feel that Putin is only giving lip service to the church but not really defending it. There are also frustrations that President Trump has not attempted to intervene. Tensions are high and there are geopolitical concerns as well.
According to the Ministry of John Sanidopoulos in an article entitled “How Hagia Sophia Became a Museum in 1934“:
The history of how Hagia Sophia became a museum is a very unique and interesting one, as unique as the structure itself.
The Byzantine Institute of America is an organization founded for the preservation of Byzantine art and architecture. Its greatest notable success is the preservation of the mosaics in Hagia Sophia. The institute's founder was the scholar and archaeologist Thomas Whittemore (pic) pic.twitter.com/IPpAOqxLrg
— Wedaneus 🇬🇷 (@ArcGreek) July 13, 2020
The end of Turkey will commence when they convert St. Sophia into a mosque. I won't be alive to see it, but you younger ones will see it all. — Paisios of Mount Athos, 1994 pic.twitter.com/fui4IquSR2
— sv. elizabeta ugarska (@elizabetaug) July 13, 2020
One minister from Mount Athos predicted not only that Turkey would convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque back in 1994, but also predicted this would set off a chain reaction that would destroy Turkey itself.
The head Imam of the reopened Hagia Sophia mosque will be a native European Muslim, Bosniak Ferruh Mustuer. pic.twitter.com/CCgwNYfQ4b
— Islam4Europeans (@Islam4Europeans) July 13, 2020
A group called “Islam for Europeans” is celebrating the move to turn the museum/church into a mosque. This is the man who will be heading up the “mosque” at Hagia Sophia.
HAGIA SOPHIA – YA FETTAH
The double doors of the entrance (in view here) are covered with a bronze mesh decorated with flowers and scrolling branches.
They have two cast metal doorknockers engraved with "Ya Fettah" “Ya Fettah”
(Oh Conqueror) symbolizing the conquest. pic.twitter.com/LzgFaUX0WU
— 🇹🇷 Ayşe (@helya125) July 13, 2020
Sadly, some in the Muslim community are using this to promote ethno-nationalism and stirring up religious zealotry.
More than two years ago, Mystic Hitchens predicts that Hagia Sophia will become a mosque under President Erdogan's rule. 'From Turkey comes absolute proof that democracy and liberty are not the same thing https://t.co/jKGYc1apAN
— Peter Hitchens (@ClarkeMicah) July 13, 2020
This actually was predicted back in 2002 when the European Union was falling all over itself to support Erdogan’s Islamist rule.
In 2018 Peter Hitchens wrote about Erdogan and Turkey, in an article entitled “From Turkey Comes Proof that Democracy and Liberty are Not the Same Thing“:
I do not think I shall return to Turkey, as I would not be sure that I would be safe there. Mr Erdogan has, in the past few years, almost entirely crushed opposition to him, mostly on the pretext of a failed putsch against him, an event about which I would like to know a good deal more.
Since then his already oppressive state has wiped out most of the remaining free media, and obtained the adoption, now complete, of a new constitution which makes Mr Erdogan terrifyingly powerful. Foreign journalists are by no means immune from his intolerance. I do not think he much likes criticism. So I fear I shall never again be able to visit the lovely and majestic Hagia Sophia, once the Church of the Holy Wisdom, now a museum , probably destined to be (as it was under the Ottomans) a mosque. Nor shall I be able to cross the Bosphorus, one of the most enjoyable ferry journeys in the world from Europe to Asia. I am glad that I managed to do while I had the chance.
With so many of his opponents ( a large number of them journalists) in prison, often after travesties of trials, and with civil society more or less crushed, he is in my view rather more unassailably powerful than Vladimir Putin is in Russia.
Interestingly Mr Erdogan said yesterday (during the suspect vote which made him the unchallenged supreme leader of the country) a ‘democratic revolution’, explaining ‘With the presidential system, Turkey is seriously raising the bar, rising above the level of contemporary civilisations’.
The ‘presidential system’ means that Mr Erdogan now rules from his large new palace unencumbered by a prime Minister, and that Turkey’s Parliament is a cypher.
So there it is, liberty and the rule of law, which never existed in post-Soviet Russia, Wiped out in Turkey, by universal suffrage democracy. Bizarrely and paradoxically, the only influences which could have stopped Erdogan becoming an Islamist superboss were the Armed Forces, whose power he finally broke after the failed putsch (which, as far as I can see, no significant general or admiral supported).
For many years western liberals praised Erdogan – the ‘Economist;’ magazine being especially keen to describe him as ‘moderately Islamist’ long after it was obvious that (to use his own metaphor) he had ridden the tram of democracy as far as it would take him, and had now abandoned it, climbing into the tank of autocracy in which he is finishing his journey.
And his NATO membership keeps them, to this day, from treating him with the special hostility they reserve for Vladimir Putin. How funny that Putin and Erdogan get on rather well, and that Erdogan’s worrying victory was swiftly welcomed by the unlovely Hungarian leader Viktor Orban (some western conservatives foolishly admire Mr Orban. They will come to wish they hadn’t, I suspect). – Peter Hitchens
Mr. Hitchens was prescient in his assessment. Turkey is currently espousing Neo-Ottomanism, a form of imperialistic ethno-nationalsim that embraces Islam as part of the ethnic heritage of the Ottoman Turks. This is happening all around the world, from Russia and China to Brazil and Poland.
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 12, 2020
Pope Francis made a small, vague and ambiguous statement about being sad about what is happening with Hagia Sophia. He does not specifically condemn the turning of Hagia into a mosque, so he could be upset that this might cause conflict between Christians and Muslims. We all know he has spent considerable time getting close to Muslim leaders and creating what he refers to as an “inter-faith dialogue.”
— Church Militant/St. Michael's Media (@Church_Militant) July 13, 2020
Jules Gomes of Church Militant correctly calls this out for what it is, an attempt to skirt the issue and avoid a deep discussion about the broader implications of such a move. In a report entitled “Pope Skirts Hagia Sophia in Six Words” he claims:
Pope Francis broke his silence on Hagia Sophia at the end of his Angelus address Sunday to deliver a six word non-condemnation of Islam’s takeover of the world’s greatest Byzantine basilica.
‘I think of Hagia Sophia, and I am very saddened,’ is how Vatican News translated Francis’ statement from the Italian: ‘Penso a Santa Sofia, e sono molto addolorato.’
Francis began his post-Angelus address offering greetings for International Sea Day and after addressing seafarers for a few minutes, said: ‘And the sea takes me a little far with my thoughts: in Istanbul.’
The Holy Father then dropped in six words — not counting a single letter preposition and conjunction — almost in parenthesis, on the historic crisis facing Hagia Sophia.
Speaking to Church Militant, distinguished Islamic historian Robert Spencer blasted Francis’ equivocation.
‘The pope’s tardy statement manifests a studied ambiguity,’ Spencer said. ‘What exactly is he saddened about? He doesn’t say.’
‘Is he saddened because what was the foremost church in the Christian world for nearly a millennium, and the center of Eastern Christianity, has been made a mosque?’ Spencer asked.
Or is he saddened because this act harms the dialogue he has so ardently pursued with the Islamic world — even at the price of silence over the Muslim persecution of Christians — and demonstrates that his dialogue partners are not remotely as interested in tolerance, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence as he likes to pretend that they are?
The author of the bestselling The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS continued: ‘Has he made this unclear statement because he doesn’t wish to say anything clearly in support of maintaining Hagia Sophia’s status as a museum, for fear of offending those Muslim dialogue partners?’ – Jules Gomes, Church Militant
This is an absolutely disappointing statement from the so-called leader of the Christian faith. The move violates international declarations, such as the Abu Dhabi Declaration which calls for “the protection of places of worship — synagogues, churches and mosques” by members of the international community. Among them, Greece has described this takeover of Hagia Sophia as a “provocation to the civilized world.”
Of course the secular liberals, who always criticize the west but never Islamic Nationalism, see this as a good thing.
The “Cathedral Mosque” in Córdoba, like Hagia Sophia, can be an inter-religious house of prayer shared openly & equally by Christians & Muslims.
“Space-sharing” provides us w/ the opportunity to foster new identities & inclusive narratives.
One building. One body. Imagine that. pic.twitter.com/L6w7AbPQOD
— Dr. Craig Considine (@CraigCons) July 12, 2020
What they really want is one RELIGION. They want a one world government that is centrally planned and controlled from the top-down, and they want the same kind of religion.
🇹🇷 Turkey's decision to turn UNESCO-listed Hagia Sophia into a mosque violates the World Heritage Convention.
🇺🇳 But key UN bodies will do 0.
🇹🇷 Turkey is President of UNESCO General Conference
🇹🇷 Turkey is next President of UN General Assembly
🇹🇷 Turkey is on UN NGO Committee pic.twitter.com/DFX6NMXgVF
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) July 12, 2020
The move to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque not only violates the Ahu Dhabi Declaration, but also the World Heritage Convention. However, international bodies such as the United Nations, created to further the aims of the globalists, will not do anything to intervene in the matter.
— Greekcitytimes (@greekcitytimes) July 12, 2020
The more disturbing implication of this move is that it provides the path of emboldening Turkey to invade Athens, a very real worry of Greece. According to Greek City Times, in an article entitled “Turkish Media Report Now That Hagia Sophia is Done, Athens is ‘Next’“:
Turkey is one of the lowest ranked countries for media freedoms in the world, Turkish citizens are the second most susceptible country surveyed on the European continent and its surrounds to fake news, has the most journalists jailed in the whole world, and 90% of media is government controlled.
With over 90% of media controlled by the Turkish government, much of what the media says is the voice of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A Tweet by radically pro-Erdoğan media outlet Haber 7 said ‘Hagia Sophia is done! Next is Athens.’
As an extension of Erdoğan’s voice, the now deleted Tweet is a clear threat that the entire Turkish establishment have ambitions of not only invading Greece’s Eastern Mediterranean islands, Crete and western Thrace, but all of Greece including Athens.
Many wants to dismiss the seriousness of Turkey’s ambitions against Greece’s sovereignty, but one only has to remember it’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and it’s invasion of large areas of northern Syria where now the Turkish currency, curriculum and language is used instead of Syrian administration and the Arabic language.
Greece of course is not a low populated island with a non-professional military like Cyprus, nor is it a country like Syria devastated by nearly a decade of fighting radical jihadists, but the threat of war remains real, especially now that Turkish media find it comfortable enough to announce their intentions of invading Athens.Meanwhile, Greece will be imposing sanctions against Turkey for its decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. – Greek City Times
So many things could potentially start the next world war, and this is one of those things. China has also been using this time, while the world is distracted with COVID19, to expand its presence in the South China Sea.
— Mordecai (@MenschOhneMusil) July 12, 2020
Audrey Hepburn visiting Hagia Sophia back in 1968.
— Winstona Smith (@SmithWinstona) July 13, 2020
Indeed this is something the State Department should see as concerning, as it represents a strengthened voice among Islamic Ultra-nationalists who have been clamoring for Hagia Sophia to be converted into a mosque for years.
The hysterical tone emanating from #Turkey in the aftermath of #HagiaSophia’s de-secularization is demonstrated by #Turkiye @tgnewspaper proclaiming #Erdoğan as the “Second Conqueror”, the First having been Mehmet, who seized #Constantinople in 1453, reaching as far as #Belgrade. pic.twitter.com/zfHs1D6Wmf
— Yoav Karny (@YoavKarny) July 13, 2020
As you can see, Turkish media is absolutely stoking Ethno-Nationalism in the name of Islamic Conquest and Jihad.
Montenegro is also having similar problems, and this converting of Hagia Sophia is another thing that will cause fractures and further Balkanization.
The Turks have proposed using holographic technology to cover up the beautiful Christian mosaics inside the church.
These are Armenian girls, crucified by the Turks in early 20th century, during Armenian Genocide!!! Turkey has no history. It has a criminal record!!!
— Greeksburg (@Greeksburg) July 13, 2020
Christians around the world are under increasing persecution, according to the BBC, it is at near genocide levels in certain parts of Africa and Asia. There is concern that truly we are seeing a war on Christianity.
During the Armenian Genocide, the Turks did horrific things to Christian girls.
the Turkish armed forces, militias, and members of the public engaged in a systematic campaign of genocidal rape against female Armenians and children of both sexes. Before the genocide had begun one method used to intimidate the Armenian population was sexual humiliation.[a] Women and young girls were not only subjected to rape, but also forced marriage, torture, forced prostitution, being sold into slavery and sexual mutilation.
Welcome to Radical Islam. They dehumanize their political opponents.
The Church is the seat of the Syriac Orthodox archbishopric. It's one of the oldest & most important features of the ancient city of Homs. It is located in the neighborhood of Bustan Diwan, which is one of the alleys of old Homs. Visitors cannot visit Homs without visiting it. pic.twitter.com/9rezvuX8MG
— Lili (@HalabsDaughter) July 12, 2020
Christians in Syria are also facing persecution and destruction of churches.
Melissa Butz with Rome Reports writes in “Churches Burned and Statues of Mary Vandalized in Catholic Churches Across U.S.” that this religious persecution is coming to America:
The Catholic Church in the United States experienced a series of attacks this weekend all over the country.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles saw a fire in an eighteenth-century mission church, San Gabriel, founded in 1771 by St. Junipero Serra. Firefighters responded to the call at 4:24 a.m. on Saturday, July 11.
Archbishop José Gomez tweeted about the fire, asking for the intercession of St. Junipero.
St. Junipero has become a point of attack during recent protests in the United States. The Spanish Franciscan priest converted thousands of native Californians to Christianity. Pope Francis canonized him while in the United States in 2015, recalling how the saint ‘defended the dignity of the native community.’
Meanwhile, in Ocala, FL, the Marion County Sheriff’s office reported someone set fire to Queen of Peace church just before Sunday morning Mass on July 12.
The police allegedly found a car crashed into the front of the church. The suspect then poured gasoline in the narthex and lit it on fire, before escaping in the same vehicle. No parishioners were wounded. The suspect was arrested and is in Marion County jail on no bond.
The Boston Police Department is currently investigating an arson of a statue of the Blessed Mother at St. Peter’s Parish Church in Dorchester on Saturday, July 11. They report an unknown suspect lit the plastic flowers in the Madonna’s hands on fire, resulting in burning on the statue’s face and upper body.
Another statue of Mary was vandalized on Friday, June 10 at 3:09 a.m. at Cathedral Prep School and Seminary in New York. The statue, which had been at the entrance of the all-boys school for more than 100 years, had the word ‘IDOL’ written on its front. It was cleaned Friday morning by staff. The Diocese of Brooklyn announced that the New York Police Department is currently investigating the case. – Rome Reports
Sadly, this is not getting the kind of national attention it should be receiving. There have been many organized attacks to tear down Christian statues and monuments across the country.
Boston News Channel 7 reports in an article by Brandon Gunnue entitled “A Troubled Soul: Boston Pastor Shocked After Virgin Mary Statue Set on Fire” that describes these horrific acts of vandalism:
Members of a Dorchester church are shocked and saddened after their Virgin Mary statue was burned Saturday night.
Officers responding to a call for a fire on Bowdoin Street around 10 p.m. in Dorchester found a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Saint Peter’s Parish Church had been set on fire, police said.
Officers were told that an unknown suspect had set fire to plastic flowers in the hands of the statue, causing the face and upper body of the statue to be burned, fire officials said.
Pastor John Currie said the incident left him shocked, disappointed, and sad. – Boston News 7
These are intimidation tactics that appear to be continuing to escalate. The global western media is silent about these acts of hatred and terror.
In 2012 Dr. Edward Spence wrote that sometimes Christians can even hurt themselves or turn on one another. The article is titled “1204-2012, Lest We Forget” and it explains how this occurred before in the past:
Before the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, another less known but equally major catastrophe shook the Hellenic Empire of Byzantium to its foundations. Unlike 1453, Constantinople wasn’t destroyed by Ottoman Turks fighting jihad for their Prophet but by “friends” of the West fighting under the Christian Cross.
In April 1204 Frankish and Venetian troops of the Fourth Crusade on their way to liberate Muslim-held Jerusalem and led by the Doge himself, treacherously sacked Constantinople leaving the City and its people in ruins for generations to come. True there was some minor provocation. Prince Alexios, son of Isaac II had promised the crusaders 200, 000 silver marks if they detoured to Constantinople and helped him take the throne from his uncle Alexios III. Seeing an opportunity, the crusaders obliged the foolish young Prince installing him as Emperor Alexios IV. Everyone seemed happy for a while until it was time for Alexios to pay-up for the favour.
When he didn’t (or he couldn’t) the crusaders, thinking it was their rightful due, raped and pillaged their way through Constantinople for five days with such ferocity that the Byzantine historian of the time Niketas Chroniates wrote in anguish: ‘Constantine’s fine city, the common delight and boast of all nations, was laid waste by fire and blackened by soot, taken and emptied of all wealth, public and private, as well as that which was consecrated by God, by the scattered nations of the West…the dashing to earth of the venerable icons and the flinging of the relics of the saints….seizing as plunder the precious chalices and patents …the outcries of men, screams of women, the taking of captives …and the raping of bodies’ (from Judith Herrin’s excellent book, Byzantium).
The City ‘the eye of all cities’ was reduced to ashes and soot. Its people killed or sold as slaves. It took the Greek Emperors more than sixty years to return to their fabled City.
Even after 800 years it is hard not to feel the sadness and the rage at this unspeakable treachery and compare what happened then with what’s happening in Athens in 2012. – Dr. Spence
Dr. Spence’s point is simple: with friends like this, who needs enemies? There is no more time for these petty squabbles and disagreements between the various sects of Christianity.
All Christians must come together to condemn this persecution and these actions by Turkey. We must unite and push back against the Communist and Islamic onslaught. If we do not, Christianity may become extinct. The Vatican is absent and they are not going to do anything to prevent this. The Bishops enjoy their tax deductible status and have been largely co-opted save for a small group. We must pray to Our Lady for wisdom, protection and Grace.
This story is still developing, please check back for updates.