Saint Sophia Cathedral was built under the reign of Grand Prince Yaroslav, whose father, Volodymyr, converted the region to Christianity.
In reconverting Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Turkish officials have emphasized veiling of Christian icons to create a Muslim prayer space. Experts explain why the veiling is in fact a Byzantine practice.
Beyond inter-religious dialogues, religions need to examine how their histories intersect with Indigenous People’s rights and spiritualities.
The Hagia Sophia is important in Turkey as a symbol of nation’s changing identity since the Byzantine empire. However, it also holds significance globally as a Unesco site and tourist attraction.
The first Muslim prayer in 86 years was held on July 24 inside Hagia Sophia, recently reconverted to a mosque. For over a millennium, this grand monument has wielded enormous power.