Hagia Sophia to become mosque again June 19, 2013Posted by tantamergo in Basics, demographics, disconcerting, Ecumenism, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, persecution, sadness, the enemy.
And, in general, the increasingly islamic Turks, under their proto-islamist leader Ergodan, are attempting to complete what the young Turks and Ataturk began in 1915 – the complete eradication of Christianity from Turkish soil:
While unrest in Turkey continues to capture attention, more subtle and more telling events concerning the Islamification of Turkey — and not just at the hands of Prime Minister Erdogan but majorities of Turks — are quietly transpiring. These include the fact that Turkey’s Hagia Sophia museum is on its way to becoming a mosque.
Why does the fate of an old building matter?
Because Hagia Sophia — Greek for “Holy Wisdom” — was for some thousand years Christianity’s greatest cathedral. Built in 537 A.D. in Constantinople, the heart of the Christian empire, it was also a stalwart symbol of defiance against an ever encroaching Islam from the east.
After parrying centuries of jihadi thrusts, Constantinople was finally sacked by Ottoman Turks in 1453. Its crosses desecrated and icons defaced, Hagia Sophia — as well as thousands of other churches — was immediately converted into a mosque, the tall minarets of Islam surrounding it in triumph.
Then, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, as part of several reforms, secularist Ataturk transformed Hagia Sophia into a “neutral” museum in 1934 — a gesture of goodwill to a then-triumphant West from a then-crestfallen Turkey. [Well.......this is not how I would term it. It was part of Ataturk's general program of forced secularization, in an attempt to modernize Turkey. But Ataturk also took part in the final portion of the Armenian genocide and was directly responsible for driving the vast majority of Greek Christians from Turkey, in the process of which scores of thousands, likely more, died.]
Thus the fate of this ancient building is full of portents. And according to Hurriyet Daily News, “A parliamentary commission is considering an application by citizens to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque…. A survey conducted with 401 people was attached to the application, in which more than 97 percent of interviewees requested the transformation of the ancient building into a mosque and afterwards for it to be reopened for Muslim worship.”
Even lesser known is the fact that other historic churches are currently being transformed into mosques, such as a 13th century church building — portentously also named Hagia Sophia — in Trabzon. After the Islamic conquest, it was turned into a mosque. But because of its “great historical and cultural significance” for Christians, it too, during Turkey’s secular age, was turned into a museum and its frescoes restored. Yet local authorities recently decreed that its Christian frescoes would again be covered and the church/museum turned into a mosque.
Similarly, the 5th century Studios Monastery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is set to become an active mosque. And the existence of the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world, 5th century Mor Gabriel Monastery, is at risk. Inhabited today by only a few dozen Christians dedicated to learning the monastery’s teachings, the ancient Aramaic language spoken by Jesus, and the Orthodox Syriac tradition, neighboring Muslims filed a lawsuit accusing the monks of practicing “anti-Turkish activities” and of illegally occupying land which belongs to Muslim villagers. The highest appeals court in Ankara ruled in favor of the Muslim villagers, saying the land that had been part of the monastery for 1,600 years is not its property, absurdly claiming that the monastery was built over the ruins of a mosque — even though Muhammad was born 170 years after the monastery was built.
Yes, it’s a bit strange to claim a 5th century monastery was built on muslim land – since islam did not come into existence in Turkey until the 8th century! But there were many exchanges of territory back then, the Byzantine Empire would surrender territory and then take it back. I’d be interested to see the history of the monastery – some of those eastern monasteries have maintained their records very well. As for the monastery being the oldest, there are a couple of monasteries in Egypt that actually date – or are claimed to date - from the 4th century, which is about the time organized monasticism really got started. And, it got started in Egypt. I pray these monasteries don’t also fall to yet another wave of hate filled islamic militarism.
At any rate, the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople had what were probably the most glorious mosaics to be found anywhere in Christendome. Most of them were lost or permanently damaged when the islamists crudely plastered them over when they turned the great church into a mosque. Even many muslims at the time were shocked at the destruction done to such great beauty – many of the mosaics were laid in pure gold. But the mullahs insisted. Will they be plastered over again? Or otherwise destroyed, as islamists have shown little compunction destroying other priceless works of ancient art if they offend against muslim iconoclasm?
But, I’m sure a little ecumenism will straighten all this out.