Ground Zero mosque…

As sympathetic as I am toward opponents of the proposed Ground Zero mosque, I don’t think they realize how fortunate they are to be able to voice their opinions.

Eastern Christians have never had such luxury. The former cradle of Christianity is now filled with mosques. Many were originally our churches, and were taken as spoils of conquest. Consider Hagia Sophia, the Church of Holy Wisdom. Built in the seventh century, this magnificent temple was later visited by emissaries of the Russian Prince Vladimir, a pagan seeking a new faith. “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth,” the delegates reported, adding, “we know only that God dwells there among men.” Hagia Sophia was the Patriarch of Constantinople’s cathedral for a thousand years, until 1453. Then, after generations of effort, the Turks sacked the capital, extinguishing Eastern Christendom’s temporal glory and throwing millions of Orthodox Christians into centuries of darkness.

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Hagia Sophia may host religious ceremonies

Brushing aside fears that holding religious ceremonies in churches would undermine Turkey’s Islamic character, the country’s top religious official has expressed openness about allowing such rites in Istanbul’s famous Hagia Sophia.

“Turkey will not become a Christian country by allowing three to five churches to hold religious ceremonies,” Ali Bardakoglu, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, told journalists at a fast-breaking meal, or iftar.

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St. Vladimir, Prince of Kiev

Saint Vladimir (Svyatoslavich), Baptizer of Russia (958-1015) was the Grand Prince of Kiev.

St. Vladimir was a devout pagan in his early life. He was a great conqueror, who had many wives, and erected many pagan statues in the lands that he ruled over.

Upon finding out that other faiths existed beyond his own paganism, he decided to send his envoys out into the world to find out what was true faith on earth.

His envoys met with Muslims, but felt that there was no joy among them, and that their faith was very mechanical. The envoys also met with Jews and Catholics, but were still unimpressed.

Everything, however, changed when St. Vladimir’s envoys arrived in Constantinople. Upon attending Divine Liturgy in the Hagia Sophia, the envoys said “We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth”. Taking the word of his envoys, St. Vladimir had himself and his nation baptized Orthodox. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Hagia Sophia’s angel uncovered! (With video)

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Watch the video here (about 3-and-a-half minutes)

SERKAN AKKOÇ
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet
Friday, July 24, 2009

Experts have uncovered one of the six angel mosaics within the world-famous Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul after it had been hidden for 160 years behind plaster and a metal mask.

The mosaic, which measures 1.5 meters by 1 meter, was last seen by Swiss architect Gaspare Fossati, who headed restoration efforts at the museum between 1847 and 1849, and Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid. Experts were surprised to see that the mosaic, believed to date from the 14th century, was so well preserved. 

Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian between A.D. 532 and 537, was originally a basilica before it was converted into a mosque when Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1453. During the conversion process, the Ottomans covered the mosaics with plaster instead of removing them.  Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

St. Vladimir, Prince of Kiev – July 15

stvladimir-bigSaint Vladimir (Svyatoslavich), Baptizer of Russia (958-1015) was the Grand Prince of Kiev.

St. Vladimir was a devout pagan in his early life. He was a great conqueror, who had many wives, and erected many pagan statues in the lands that he ruled over.

Upon finding out that other faiths existed beyond his own paganism, he decided to send his envoys out into the world to find out what was true faith on earth.

His envoys met with Muslims, but felt that there was no joy among them, and that their faith was very mechanical. The envoys also met with Jews and Catholics, but were still unimpressed.

Everything, however, changed when St. Vladimir’s envoys arrived in Constantinople. Upon attending Divine Liturgy in the Hagia Sophia, the envoys said “We no longer knew whether we were in heaven or on earth”. Taking the word of his envoys, St. Vladimir had himself and his nation baptized Orthodox. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »