July 13th, 2020

Hagia Sophia: World Council of Churches appeals to Turkey on mosque decision

The World Council of Churches has called on Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to reverse his decision to turn the celebrated Hagia Sophia museum back into a mosque.

In a letter to Mr Erdogan, the Council, which counts 350 churches as members, said the move would sow division.

The Unesco World Heritage site in Istanbul has been a museum since 1934.

The president announced his decision on Friday following a court ruling which annulled its museum status.

The Hagia Sophia was built 1,500 years ago as an Orthodox Christian cathedral, but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in 1453.

It was converted to a museum on the orders of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of modern, secular Turkey.

Since then religious services have been banned at the site, but devout Muslims have long campaigned for worship to be allowed.

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What’s the Deal With Parler and its Rising Popularity?

Examining the “free speech”–centric, far right–friendly alternative to Twitter.

The  basic idea of Parler is an awful lot like Twitter. But instead of  tweets, users post “Parleys”. Instead of retweets, there are “echoes.”  And upon registering, the suggested accounts to follow include new  outlets such as Breitbart, the Epoch Times, and the Daily Caller, as well as the political accounts for Rand Paul, Mark Levin, and Team Trump.

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Sudan Allows Alcohol Consumption After 30 Years of Islamic Law

Sudan abolished a law against apostasy that carried the death penalty  and loosened prohibitions on drinking alcohol, removing some of the  most notorious restrictions of ousted dictator Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist  rule.

Authorities have also officially outlawed female genital  mutilation, a step previously announced, Justice Minister Nasur Aldin  Abdul Bari said Saturday in an interview on state TV. It was the first  widely publicized explanation of the amendments made last week.

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