The magnificent Christian city of Constantinople is facing yet another abuse at the hands of the authorities it is under. As the world celebrated Easter 2015 with religious fervor, the historic Istanbul Cathedral witnessed its first Quran recitation in 85 years.
Even though the Christian community in turkey is a small one, it is has a rich historic background. It is the birthplace of many Christian Apostles and Saints, including Paul of Tarsus, Timothy, Nicholas of Myra, and Polycarp of Smyrna.
With an 80 million strong population, there are only around 200,000 Christians and they are also seen as second class citizens, only a Muslim can be a real citizen and any members of any other religion are considered suspicious.
One of the grandest cathedrals of the Christian world, the Hagia Sophia has also lost its grandeur in the Fall of Contantinople. Its doors were broken by invaders and what was found inside was divided as spoils among invaders.
After the fall of the city, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. It is like having a mosque called “the Armenian Mosque of the Holy Cross”. The Ottoman Empire is not converting churches into mosques and museums because there is a need for it. The message that is being conveyed is that it is a Muslim empire and no other religion will be tolerated.
“Some citizens put their cows and horses inside the church, while the inhabitants of the neighborhood complain that the church has been turned into a site of drug addicts and alcoholics,” reported the newspaper Milliyet.
All of this upheaval is reminiscent of the acts of ISIS in the Middle East and in Turkey as well, the remaining Christian population, the grandchildren of genocide survivors, are still exposed to discrimination