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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Islamic Outreach, Part LXXXIX

From an earlier post on this blog:

Pope Francis spoke to the diplomatic corps and amongst other things, said, "Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam."


MEANWHILE.....

For the first time in 85 years, a Muslim call to prayer has taken place inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
Completed in 537, Hagia Sophia served as the basilica of the Patriarch of Constantinople until the Byzantine Empire’s fall to Ottoman Turks in 1453. Hagia Sophia was then used as a mosque until 1931 and reopened in 1935 as a museum under the secularizing Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
For the past four years, the Turkish government has permitted calls for prayer from Hagia Sophia’s minarets. The call to worship from inside Hagia Sophia on July 1 was broadcast on television the following day, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
A Greek government spokesman expressed “intense concern and discomfort at yet another step that undermines the nature of Hagia Sophia as a monument of global cultural heritage and that obviously is not compatible with the principles that should govern a modern, secular state.”