Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan joined huge crowds on Friday for the first prayers at Hagia Sophia in nine decades, sealing his ambition to restore Muslim worship at an ancient site long revered in both Christianity and Islam.
Inside Hagia Sophia, white curtains covered an image of Mary and Jesus which would have faced the worshippers. Officials have said the Christian frescoes and glittering mosaics adorning the cavernous dome and central hall will be concealed during Muslim prayer times, but remain on display for the rest of the time.
Some 200 drones lit up the sky in Istanbul late on Wednesday to mark the fourth anniversary of July 15, 2016 putsch, when rogue soldiers commandeered warplanes, tanks and helicopters, attacked parliament and tried to abduct Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, killing 250 people.
Eid al-Adha -- the Feast of Sacrifice -- is one of the most important holidays in the Muslim Calendar. It includes the pilgrimage to holy city of Mecca, the haj, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
A silent demonstration was held infront of the United Nations Office in Geneva alongside Broken Chair to raise a voice in solidarity to eradicate the malicious blasphemy law and forced conversions in Pakistan. The ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is an issue of immense importance that nevertheless still receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organisations. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan have been treated as second-class citizens, their constitution legally bars religious minorities from high government offices. The country's Christian community continues to suffer discrimination, intolerance and instances of outright persecution. Religious places like churches have become an easy target for Christian persecution. According to the protesters, Christians, Hindus, and other religious minorities in the Islamic Republic are routinely subjected to multiple forms of discrimination and harassment. In 2020, Pakistan has ranked fifth on the Open Doors USA World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted for their faith.