CWN - For the first time in 85 years, a Muslim call to prayer has taken place inside Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

Completed in 537, Hagia Sophia served as the basilica of the Patriarch of Constantinople until the Byzantine Empire’s fall to Ottoman Turks in 1453. Hagia Sophia was then used as a mosque until 1931 and reopened in 1935 as a museum under the secularizing Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

For the past four years, the Turkish government has permitted calls for prayer from Hagia Sophia’s minarets. The call to worship from inside Hagia Sophia on July 1 was broadcast on television the following day, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

A Greek government spokesman expressed “intense concern and discomfort at yet another step that undermines the nature of Hagia Sophia as a monument of global cultural heritage and that obviously is not compatible with the principles that should govern a modern, secular state.”

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Teachings of Christ

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’" (John 7:37-38 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself." (Proverbs 6:32 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Self-accusation before God is something that is very necessary for us; and humility of heart is extremely advantageous in our lives, above all at the time of prayer. For prayer requires great attention and needs a proper awareness, otherwise it will turn out to be unacceptable and rejected, and 'it will be turned back empty' to our bosom.

Martyrius of Edessa