News of the beautiful and awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, or “Holy Wisdom,” turning into an active mosque is a tricky situation for political and cultural reasons, as Religion News Services reports (via Huffington Post).
Christians and other minorities may see the Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque as a challenge to Turkey’s secular-republican origin, whereas Muslims may see the emergence of a space for prayer as an affirmation of the Islamic faith of the majority of Turks.
Personally, I believe it should stay in its current state – a secular museum. However, I am not necessarily opposed to the Hagia Sophia turning into a mosque, so long as it is also turned into a church! That would be a most powerful example of interfaith coexistence – Muslims and Christians standing side-by-side, in the same building, in reverence to the Almighty.
I visited Hagia Sophia in 2011. As you can imagine, it left a lasting impression on me.