The world woke up to the news that Turkish President Erdogan got the parliament to pass a decree proclaiming Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1934. For those following Turkey and Erdogan’s Ottoman revival dreams, this comes as no surprise.
History is always unkind to losers. It’s simple as the victors write it. The world council of churches has appealed to Sultan Erdogan to revoke his decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque but this has a delicious irony. History has made us believe that Emperor Nero was cruel and was sipping wine whilst Rome burnt. What it doesn’t stress upon is that Nero suppressed the rise of Christianity in Rome, persecuted Christians as they were forcing citizens away from the native faith which was his heritage. Moreover, this episode of Rome burning was also created by Christians to make him uncomfortable for not giving in to their demands. Ironically, Emperor Constantine I who declared Christianity to be Rome’s state religion is lauded as great. This by no means whitewashes Nero’s other crimes but simply shows us how the victor ie the Church has completely laundered its crimes post-victory.
Hagia Sophia was built 1500 years ago by Justinian I; a Byzantine emperor and considered one of the world’s most important structures. Istanbul was then Constantinople, the capital of the Roman Empire and heart of the Orthodox Church. Hagia Sophia was built on the foundations of a destroyed church when Justinian I was facing public out-lash due to high taxes, it’s construction represented triumph for him as well as Christianity.
Interestingly, the original church whose foundations were destroyed was built in the 4th century by Constantine I after destroying a pagan temple of the Classical Greek religion that was present in the region that the Church set out to destroy and has been persistently destroying. Turkey is full of structures that have been built over, above or after destroying the wealth of Classical Greek religion which was about nature and harmony and not institutionalised the way Christianity currently is. Classical Greek religion revolves around nature with Gods like Zeus, Athena, Aphrodite etc and has many commonalities with Egyptian sun worship under the Pharaohs, Mayans etc. These were not institutionalised religions like the Catholic Church and nor did they have scandals like paedophilia, money laundering, arms running, regime changes, corruption and many more.
When the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453, it was converted into a mosque by Mehmet II; whereas Kemal Ataturk who built the foundations of the modern now defunct secular Turkish state converted it into a museum in 1934. If we go back in time to the Ottoman Empire, after achieving all the glory and conquering huge territory from Europe to Asia, the Ottomans had one final goal – Jerusalem. We have documented this in our 2016 book The New Global Order as well.
In itself, this is not a surprising goal. All three Abrahamic faiths have aimed to conquer Jerusalem. Hence, they have been united against other faiths in their common interests but singularly focused towards being the sole institutionalised faith that conquers Jerusalem. While Islamic theology has been weaponised in the name of jihad, Christianity had its own version in the form of crusades which advanced the Church’s hegemony across Europe and the Middle East. It has been using the “gun vs cannoli” analogy that the mafia employs very well in a sophisticated manner to betray its real intentions. Why else it is one of the largest landlords globally and still unable to uplift a significant percentage of its African brethren out of poverty? It’s simple- institutionalised religions are a business behind the facade of charity.