- Aug 7, 2020
As Muslims for the first time 86 years chant prayers from Istanbul’s famed Hagia Sophia Friday morning, Orthodox Christians worldwide will recite an ancient hymn in lamentation of what they see as a major blow to interreligious coexistence.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to join hundreds of worshippers Friday for the first Muslim prayers at the Hagia Sophia in 86 years, after a controversial high court ruling paved the way for the landmark monument to be turned back into a mosque.
ROME – Cue the soundtrack from film adaptations of the Dickens classic, because what Pope Francis has given us over the last week, ladies and gentlemen, is a Tale of Two Cities … only the settings aren’t London and Paris, they’re Beijing and Ankara. We’re in the middle of July,
Turkey’s State Court ruled Friday to revert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, one of the most iconic monuments for both Christianity and Islam, to a mosque – a decision that could have global repercussions in the Orthodox world.
As Silvia Romano, a young Italian woman recently released from captivity after spending some 18 months in the hands of Islamic extremists, faces mounting national criticism for her apparent conversion to Islam, Italy’s top prelate has stressed the need to embrace her as a “daughter.”
Christian and Muslim communities can work together to safeguard places of worship, thereby helping guarantee the freedom to profess one’s own belief, said the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue’s annual message to Muslims for the end of Ramadan.