Monday, September 7, 2020

After Refusing to Preserve It, Turkish Islamic Foundation Demolishes a Historic Greek Orthodox Church in Bursa


The Church of Saint George, which was restored and transformed into a cultural center by the Nilüfer Municipality in Bursa, was taken from the municipality and transferred to an Islamic Foundation. The historical building, which was neglected for seven years, was destroyed on September 1st, Gazete Duvar reported.

The Greek Orthodox Church, which was estimated to have been built in 1896, was converted into a mosque after the exchange in 1923, but became abandoned because it was not used after the Yeni Özlüce Mosque was built. The Nilüfer Municipality, which took on the historical building in 2006, restored the building within the scope of the project approved by the Cultural and Natural Heritage Conservation Board and opened it into service as the Özlüce Culture House in 2009. When the building was abandoned, it was restored by the Nilüfer Municipality and transformed into Özlüce Kultürevi.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Historic and Revered Chora Church in Istanbul Officially Violated By Being Converted to a Mosque


Turkey has ordered the re-conversion of Istanbul’s Chora church, also known as the Kariye Museum, which has served as a museum since 1945, into a mosque and opened it to Islamic worship, according to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette on Friday 21 August 2020.

The decree stated that the site has been transferred to the administration of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and will be opened for Muslim worship in accordance with Article 35 of the Law on the Establishment and Duties of the Presidency of Religious Affairs.

The move comes shortly after a similar decision to re-convert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia into a mosque from a museum.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

The Monotheism of Islam and the Monotheism of Orthodox Christianity


By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

In Islamic teaching there is talk of one God, who has no son. It emphasizes, therefore, the uniqueness and inaccessibility of God. God cannot have a son or a daughter. On the Mosque of Omar in Jerusalem is written the commandment: "Praise be Allah who has not taken unto himself a son." In the Koran it is repeatedly said: "Your God is One God; there is no god but He, the All-merciful, the All-compassionate." The teaching of the Koran on this subject is summarized as follows, "He, Allah, is One. Allah, on whom all depend. He has not begotten, nor was He begotten. And none is comparable to Him.”

Monday, July 27, 2020

Islamic Teaching Prohibits the Conversion of Churches Into Mosques


According to the Pact of Umar,* which has canonical status in Islamic jurisprudence, caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab came to Jerusalem in 637 after the conquest of Jerusalem and toured the city with Patriarch Sophronios of Jerusalem. During the tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the time for prayer came, and despite Sophronios's offer to Umar to pray inside the church, Umar chose to pray outside. According to Islamic tradition, the caliph's reason for declining to pray there was because in the future Muslims might say that Umar prayed here and use it as an excuse to build a mosque there. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to build a mosque there. So Umar went outside the church, picked up a stone and threw it at a distance. He offered his prayers at the spot where the stone fell. And as he predicted, later when the Ayyubids reached that region, they built a mosque at that same spot where Umar ibn al-Khattab had offered the prayers, known today as the Mosque of Umar. Patriarch Sophronios, appreciating the caliph's intelligence, gave the keys of the church to him. Unable to refuse it the caliph gave it to a family of Muslims from Medina and asked them to open the church and close it; the keys of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre still remain with the Muslim family to this day.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Turkish President Erdogan Has Officially Signed a Decree Turning Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree on Friday to formally declare Hagia Sophia a mosque, mere minutes after Turkey’s administrative court annulled a 1934-dated decision that paved the way for the use of the 15-century-old structure as a museum.

Erdogan’s decree cited the Council of State’s verdict as the basis of his move for the transfer of the powers concerning the use of the Hagia Sophia to the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet).

Turkish daily Hurriyet reports that crowds were observed to be gathered in front of the Hagia Sophia after news broke out on the status change.