Worldwide Pushback on Turkey Converting Historic Church Into Mosque | TBN

Worldwide Pushback on Turkey Converting Historic Church Into Mosque

Watch Worldwide Pushback on Turkey Converting Historic Church Into Mosque
July 28, 2020
25:04

Jay Sekulow speaks about the protection of religious freedoms in America.

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Worldwide Pushback on Turkey Converting Historic Church Into Mosque

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  • (soft music)
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  • - World wide pushbackon Turkey's decision
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  • to turn a historicchurch into a mosque.
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  • We'll talk about ittoday on the broadcast.
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  • The fight to preserveHagia Sophia in Istanbul
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  • as a museum that all can visit,
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  • both Christians and Muslims,that the work that can continue
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  • to uncover that Byzantineand Roman artwork,
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  • early Christian artwork,early depictions of Christ.
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  • We're talking about thedepictions of Christ
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  • 300 years afterthe resurrection.
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  • It was the largest religiousplace of worship in the world
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  • until the Vatican was built.
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  • I mean, this isa historic place,
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  • but then it became asymbol of conquering.
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  • So it became asymbol of conquering
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  • from different Christiangroups, then it became
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  • a symbol of conqueringfrom the Ottoman Turks
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  • and they turnedit into a mosque.
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  • But Ataturk, who was a moresecular leader of Turkey said,
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  • "I don't want thissymbol of Turkey,
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  • this great site we have tobe a symbol of conquering
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  • considering we arediverse people.
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  • Where we have differentkinds of Muslims,
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  • different kinds of Christians,and other faiths here.
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  • And so, it will becomea museum for everyone."
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  • That means, we will start touncover what was covered up.
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  • Thankfully not destroyed,that Christian artwork.
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  • And also, the Islamicartwork as well.
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  • Now, remember, Christian artwork
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  • can depict images of Christ,
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  • and the disciples, andMary, and baby Jesus.
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  • In the Islamic world theyuse very beautiful text
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  • because they do not do images.
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  • So, you see both atHagia Sophia right now--
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  • - Right.
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  • - Because it's a museum,not a place of worship.
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  • And we are starting to see, Dad,
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  • some major worldwidecondemnation.
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  • Our team out of Russiaput together a report,
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  • there's even more.
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  • Then, English press wasreporting there from Putin,
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  • from the foreign ministry,
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  • from the patriarch of theRussian Orthodox Church,
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  • which represents over 100million Russian Orthodox
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  • Christians in Russia alone.
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  • - Yeah.
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  • - I mean, we're seeing it
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  • from the Islamic society ofNorth America, and the United--
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  • - (indistinct) pull this one up.
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  • - And the United Arab Emirates--
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  • - Yeah.
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  • - Which is a absolute Islamicmonarchy with Sharia law.
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  • And they are all opposed.
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  • - So the Islamicsociety of North America
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  • has released astatement condemning.
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  • Now, this is historic.
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  • The Islamic societyof North America
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  • has released a statementcondemning Turkey's conversion
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  • of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
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  • So this direct attackon Christianity
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  • is being met withworldwide condemnation,
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  • but also worldwide condemnationin the Muslim world.
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  • Now, I want you to thinkabout the United Arab Emirates
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  • as Jordan mentioned,said the same thing.
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  • Andy Ekonomou's with us,
  • 00:03:02.390 --> 00:03:03.725
  • he is a seniorcounsel for the ACLJ.
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  • He's been heavilyinvolved in the fight
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  • for the Greek Orthodox Church,
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  • the remnant that remains aonce historic Constantinople,
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  • now, with unbelievablereligious restrictions.
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  • But, Andy, this isthe great attack.
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  • I said this to you in atext, and I sent it to you,
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  • and I think toyour wife, Georgia,
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  • that it's the same playbookthat the Ottomans used,
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  • which is conquer, conquest,destroy the Christian remnant.
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  • - Constantinople wasdestroyed by the Ottoman Turks
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  • in 29, March, of 1453.
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  • Then Hagia Sophiashortly thereafter
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  • was converted from the crownjewel of Eastern Christianity,
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  • which it always was, andalways will be, into a mosque.
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  • And remained a mosqueuntil, Ataturk, in 1934,
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  • decided that thesecularization of Turkey
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  • called for the ability to haveequal access from all faiths,
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  • Muslim and Christianto this holy site.
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  • And it is a symbol ofconquest by Erdogan
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  • of his Christian populations.
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  • This is not a handoutin the sense of joyfully
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  • to reaching out to theChristian minorities in Turkey,
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  • whether they be Catholic,or Armenian, or Greek,
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  • this is a slap in their face.
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  • - We'll be right back withmore of our discussion
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  • about what we're doingright now at the ACLJ.
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  • We're back on the broadcast.
  • 00:04:32.714 --> 00:04:34.415
  • (soft music)
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  • Welcome back toJay Sekulow Live.
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  • This is, Jordan Sekulow,and I wanna encourage you
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  • just to really getinvolved in this issue.
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  • The whole world isgetting involved
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  • and that means youneed to get involved.
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  • Now, we've seenthe United States,
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  • our Secretary of State MikePompeo, issue the condemnation.
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  • We've see the UN, we'veseen the European Union,
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  • we've seen the UK,we've seen UNESCO itself
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  • because this is aWorld Heritage site,
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  • but now it is expanding.
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  • When I was talking toour office in Moscow
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  • and our team there, becausethere are many Orthodox there.
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  • The Russian OrthodoxChurch, actually 100 million
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  • out of the about140 million Russians
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  • who live in the RussianFederation are Russian Orthodox.
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  • And their patriarchhas come out strongly
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  • in opposition to this move.
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  • And that patriarch is veryclose to president Putin
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  • who also spoke toEdorgan on July 13th
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  • and expressed the concerns ofthe Russian people as well.
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  • The Russian foreign ministryhas come out in opposition.
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  • Said that theyregret the decision
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  • of the Republic ofTurkey's leaders
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  • to turn the HagiaSophia cathedral museum
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  • into a mosque and resumeMuslim services there.
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  • So you've got both Putinengaging with Erdogan.
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  • You have the foreign ministry
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  • making the statement forthe Russian Federation.
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  • And you have the leader
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  • of the largest religiousdenomination in Russia,
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  • who happens to be avery close advisor
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  • to Vladimir Putin,Patriarch Kirill,
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  • with 100 million plusmembers in Russia alone.
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  • That is over 90% ofthe population there.
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  • And folks you can engageas well because the world
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  • is coming together.
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  • Islamic groups are comingout as we talked about
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  • to condemn this.
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  • The United Arab Emirates,which is again, a country
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  • that is an absolute Islamicmonarchy with Sharia law,
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  • where it's 99.9% Muslim,has out in opposition.
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  • In fact, their minister ofculture, Noura, said this.
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  • "It should neither bemisused nor altered,
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  • Hagia Sophia through change
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  • in a way that touchesthe human essence.
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  • Especially for sitesthat are inscribed
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  • under world heritage by UNESCO,
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  • they have exceptionalinternational value
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  • and are the common heritageof all peoples and cultures.
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  • Hagia Sophia has remaineda global landmark
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  • with significantcultural legacy.
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  • It has also served as a bridge,
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  • connecting different peoplesand cementing their bonds,
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  • both Muslims and Christians.
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  • World Heritage sites have becomethe platforms for knowledge
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  • and exchange betweendiverse cultures
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  • and civilizations that evolvedin history across time.
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  • Hagia Sophia is an importantexample of interaction
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  • in dialogue betweenAsia and Europe
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  • and should remain a witnessto harmonious human history.
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  • Think about that.
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  • It is an architectural marvel,
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  • a unique witness to theinteraction across centuries."
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  • And who is this from?
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  • This is from the United ArabEmirates minister of culture.
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  • So a cabinet member there--
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  • - There you go.
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  • - And that is a countrythat is ruled by Sharia law.
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  • - All right, joining uson the phone right now
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  • is a very good friend of ours.
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  • He is a senior corespondent,a Middle East correspondent
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  • for CBN news, Chris Mitchell.
  • 00:07:50.891 --> 00:07:53.193
  • And Chris, you'vebeen handling this.
  • 00:07:53.193 --> 00:07:54.861
  • Tell us what you'rehearing, what you've seen,
  • 00:07:54.861 --> 00:07:57.197
  • what your reporting indicates.
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  • - Well, Jay and Jordan,great to be with you.
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  • I think one important thingthat needs to be reported
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  • is what Erdogan puton his Facebook page
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  • after he made the announcementabout the Hagia Sophia.
  • 00:08:06.406 --> 00:08:10.277
  • And he said this,
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  • "arrival ofthe Hagia Sophia
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  • is a sign towardsthe return of freedom
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  • to the Al-Aqsa Mosquehere in Jerusalem.
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  • And the Al-Alaqsa Mosque isright on the Temple Mount,
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  • and the idea behind thatis, he wants to redeem
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  • not only the Hagia Sophia,
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  • which is such this amazingsymbol of Christianity
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  • here in this regionof the world,
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  • but he wants toliberate all the lands
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  • that were once underthe control of Islam.
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  • This is in Islamic doctrine.
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  • He went on to say,Jay and Jordan,
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  • he said that the resurrectionof the Hagia Sophia
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  • is a greeting from theheart to all cities,
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  • from Bukhara to Andalusia.
  • 00:08:50.951 --> 00:08:53.553
  • For those that don'tknow the geography,
  • 00:08:53.553 --> 00:08:55.155
  • Andalusia was one daySpain and Portugal.
  • 00:08:55.155 --> 00:08:59.159
  • Bukhara is all theway to the east,
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  • it's modern day, Uzbekistan.
  • 00:09:01.895 --> 00:09:03.496
  • So the idea behind that
  • 00:09:03.496 --> 00:09:05.065
  • is that he wants to liberateeventually all the lands
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  • that were once underthe sway of Islam.
  • 00:09:08.702 --> 00:09:11.237
  • Right now, I'mlooking out my window
  • 00:09:11.237 --> 00:09:13.039
  • in my office here in Jerusalem,
  • 00:09:13.039 --> 00:09:15.075
  • I'm looking at thewalls of the old city.
  • 00:09:15.075 --> 00:09:17.410
  • They were built by Mehmet,
  • 00:09:17.410 --> 00:09:20.413
  • the conquer back in the 1500.
  • 00:09:20.413 --> 00:09:23.149
  • And so, this land I'm sittingon was once Muslim land.
  • 00:09:23.149 --> 00:09:27.554
  • So that's the ideabehind his Facebook page,
  • 00:09:27.554 --> 00:09:30.090
  • about the Al-Aqsa Mosque,about Bukhara, Andalusia.
  • 00:09:30.090 --> 00:09:33.727
  • His ambitions go farbeyond just Turkey.
  • 00:09:33.727 --> 00:09:36.396
  • - Andy, we talked about the fact
  • 00:09:36.396 --> 00:09:38.031
  • that this is aconquering mentality,
  • 00:09:38.031 --> 00:09:39.599
  • that this is aconquest mentality.
  • 00:09:39.599 --> 00:09:41.868
  • We also know that wecan be victorious,
  • 00:09:41.868 --> 00:09:44.337
  • we will be victorious.
  • 00:09:44.337 --> 00:09:46.239
  • In Greek that's nika.
  • 00:09:46.239 --> 00:09:47.507
  • See, I got a Greekword on you, Andy.
  • 00:09:47.507 --> 00:09:49.309
  • - That's true.
  • 00:09:50.944 --> 00:09:52.445
  • - But the fact of the matteris, the fact of the matter is,
  • 00:09:52.445 --> 00:09:54.047
  • I really believe we aregoing to be victorious here.
  • 00:09:54.047 --> 00:09:55.749
  • But explain, followingup on what Chris said,
  • 00:09:55.749 --> 00:09:58.218
  • explain what is the mindset here
  • 00:09:58.218 --> 00:10:02.722
  • because this is historyrepeating itself.
  • 00:10:02.722 --> 00:10:04.824
  • I mean, it's the same playbook.
  • 00:10:04.824 --> 00:10:06.526
  • - Jay, the mindsetis Islam conquers
  • 00:10:07.727 --> 00:10:11.865
  • and then appropriatesfor itself.
  • 00:10:11.865 --> 00:10:14.434
  • But this is contraryto Islamic teaching.
  • 00:10:14.434 --> 00:10:17.337
  • When theHagia Sophia,
  • 00:10:17.337 --> 00:10:20.507
  • which by the way meansGod's holy wisdom.
  • 00:10:20.507 --> 00:10:24.878
  • And I'll say that wordagain, Hagia Sophia,
  • 00:10:24.878 --> 00:10:29.315
  • the church of God's holywisdom, was conquered
  • 00:10:29.315 --> 00:10:33.319
  • by Mehmed the conquer in 1453.
  • 00:10:33.319 --> 00:10:36.322
  • He decided as asymbol of the conquest
  • 00:10:36.322 --> 00:10:39.092
  • to convert it into a mosque.
  • 00:10:39.092 --> 00:10:40.894
  • But he also gave thepatriarch at that time,
  • 00:10:40.894 --> 00:10:43.763
  • Gennadious Scolarious a horse,
  • 00:10:43.763 --> 00:10:46.499
  • and caparisoned it with colors
  • 00:10:46.499 --> 00:10:48.835
  • and gave him his own cathedral.
  • 00:10:48.835 --> 00:10:50.937
  • But he said he couldnot let him stay
  • 00:10:50.937 --> 00:10:53.173
  • in the crown jewelof Christianity.
  • 00:10:53.173 --> 00:10:55.475
  • But he gave himhis own cathedral
  • 00:10:55.475 --> 00:10:57.077
  • recognizing even inthe 15th century,
  • 00:10:57.077 --> 00:11:00.313
  • the right of the Christiansto worship as they chose.
  • 00:11:00.313 --> 00:11:03.850
  • It became a mosqueand it stayed a mosque
  • 00:11:03.850 --> 00:11:07.053
  • until it became a museum.
  • 00:11:07.053 --> 00:11:09.055
  • But this attitude of Ataturk,
  • 00:11:09.055 --> 00:11:11.491
  • as the reporter who just spokesaid, is one of conquest.
  • 00:11:11.491 --> 00:11:16.496
  • He is the new sultan.
  • 00:11:17.230 --> 00:11:18.732
  • He is going to take overall of the Christian sites
  • 00:11:18.732 --> 00:11:22.435
  • that were in Islamic lands andmake them into Muslim jamia,
  • 00:11:22.435 --> 00:11:27.440
  • which means intotemples of mosques.
  • 00:11:28.575 --> 00:11:33.413
  • And this is the attitude of theconquer versus the conquest.
  • 00:11:33.413 --> 00:11:36.950
  • This is not a secular Turkey.
  • 00:11:36.950 --> 00:11:38.985
  • This is a conquering mentality,
  • 00:11:38.985 --> 00:11:41.988
  • which we shoulddecry and condemn.
  • 00:11:41.988 --> 00:11:44.390
  • We need Hagia Sophia toreign, remain a museum
  • 00:11:44.390 --> 00:11:48.428
  • when the beautiful,incredible mosaics
  • 00:11:48.428 --> 00:11:51.297
  • that Jordan and Ihave seen together,
  • 00:11:51.297 --> 00:11:54.234
  • that are a marvel toChristianity, thatwere covered up Jay,
  • 00:11:54.234 --> 00:11:58.671
  • by the Muslims when theytook over Hagia Sophia.
  • 00:11:58.671 --> 00:12:02.041
  • We don't want those desecrated.
  • 00:12:02.041 --> 00:12:04.110
  • We want to see them in alltheir glory so that we too,
  • 00:12:04.110 --> 00:12:07.947
  • we too, Christians,not a conquered people
  • 00:12:07.947 --> 00:12:10.683
  • can marvel and worship atthose mosaics of Christ,
  • 00:12:10.683 --> 00:12:15.054
  • the Virgin, andthe Holy Apostles.
  • 00:12:15.054 --> 00:12:17.323
  • - And Chris, I wantedto get into something
  • 00:12:17.323 --> 00:12:18.925
  • a little geopolitical as well,since you live in Jerusalem
  • 00:12:18.925 --> 00:12:21.394
  • where all of thesedifferent religious groups,
  • 00:12:21.394 --> 00:12:23.196
  • including the Russian Orthodox,Greek Orthodox, Protestants,
  • 00:12:23.196 --> 00:12:26.132
  • Catholics, Jews, Muslims ofall different backgrounds
  • 00:12:26.132 --> 00:12:29.102
  • have places, holysites of worship.
  • 00:12:29.102 --> 00:12:31.337
  • And Israel has done avery good job I think,
  • 00:12:31.337 --> 00:12:33.239
  • of keeping those open forthose specific groups.
  • 00:12:33.239 --> 00:12:36.276
  • We see the Russian Orthodoxpatriarch, he said this.
  • 00:12:36.276 --> 00:12:39.212
  • "Today, the relationshipbetween Turkey and Russia
  • 00:12:39.212 --> 00:12:41.881
  • is developing dynamically."
  • 00:12:41.881 --> 00:12:43.650
  • At the same time,
  • 00:12:43.650 --> 00:12:45.118
  • one should take into accountthat Russia is a country
  • 00:12:45.118 --> 00:12:47.353
  • with the majority of populationprofessing, orthodoxy.
  • 00:12:47.353 --> 00:12:50.824
  • And so, what mayhappen to Hagia Sophia
  • 00:12:50.824 --> 00:12:53.226
  • will inflict great painon the Russian people.
  • 00:12:53.226 --> 00:12:55.995
  • I hope for the prudence ofTurkey state leadership,
  • 00:12:55.995 --> 00:12:58.698
  • preservation of the currentneutral status of Hagia Sophia,
  • 00:12:58.698 --> 00:13:02.001
  • one of the greatest masterpiecesof Christian culture
  • 00:13:02.001 --> 00:13:05.038
  • and a church symbol formillions of Christians
  • 00:13:05.038 --> 00:13:07.307
  • all over the world,
  • 00:13:07.307 --> 00:13:08.708
  • will facilitate furtherdevelopment of the relationships
  • 00:13:08.708 --> 00:13:11.544
  • between the peopleof Russia and Turkey.
  • 00:13:11.544 --> 00:13:13.646
  • Chris, these are the kindof religious leaders.
  • 00:13:13.646 --> 00:13:16.216
  • We know their relationshipwith people like Putin,
  • 00:13:16.216 --> 00:13:19.352
  • very close that whenthey speak and they say
  • 00:13:19.352 --> 00:13:22.422
  • that this is goingto have an impact
  • 00:13:22.422 --> 00:13:24.257
  • on our foreign relations,this is a big deal.
  • 00:13:24.257 --> 00:13:26.926
  • - It's a very big deal, Jordan.
  • 00:13:29.062 --> 00:13:30.530
  • In fact, I know one of theRussian Orthodox leaders said
  • 00:13:30.530 --> 00:13:34.167
  • that the church Hagia Sophiais the same comparison
  • 00:13:34.167 --> 00:13:37.804
  • as St. Peter's Basilica.
  • 00:13:37.804 --> 00:13:39.539
  • So people in thewest would understand
  • 00:13:39.539 --> 00:13:41.274
  • the importance of St.Peter's to Roman Catholics.
  • 00:13:41.274 --> 00:13:44.244
  • And Hagia Sophia hasthe same influence.
  • 00:13:44.244 --> 00:13:46.880
  • It means a great deal.
  • 00:13:46.880 --> 00:13:48.715
  • And I think the factthat it does interplay
  • 00:13:48.715 --> 00:13:52.185
  • with the geopoliticsof the region,
  • 00:13:52.185 --> 00:13:54.020
  • especially withPutin and Erdogan,
  • 00:13:54.020 --> 00:13:56.556
  • we're talking abouttwo strong leaders
  • 00:13:56.556 --> 00:13:59.092
  • facing off against oneanother on this thing.
  • 00:13:59.092 --> 00:14:01.961
  • And one thing I'dlike to add, Jordan,
  • 00:14:03.129 --> 00:14:04.297
  • is the fact that in geopolitics,
  • 00:14:04.297 --> 00:14:06.699
  • Erdogan is reallyexerting influencethroughout this region.
  • 00:14:06.699 --> 00:14:10.637
  • He's working insideLibya militarily.
  • 00:14:10.637 --> 00:14:13.406
  • He's actually asked fora, or tried to claim
  • 00:14:13.406 --> 00:14:16.609
  • part of the EasternMediterranean as Turkish waters
  • 00:14:16.609 --> 00:14:20.380
  • that comes against Greek.
  • 00:14:20.380 --> 00:14:22.148
  • In Northeast Syria,he's been attacking
  • 00:14:22.148 --> 00:14:24.017
  • Christians and minorities.
  • 00:14:24.017 --> 00:14:25.718
  • In Iraqi he's expanding
  • 00:14:25.718 --> 00:14:27.153
  • because he sees Turkeyas a greater Turkey.
  • 00:14:27.153 --> 00:14:29.589
  • So geopolitically,this has a big,
  • 00:14:29.589 --> 00:14:31.958
  • big impact in thisregion, Jordan.
  • 00:14:31.958 --> 00:14:34.160
  • - Yeah, I mean, listen.
  • 00:14:34.160 --> 00:14:35.728
  • I mean, right on with thatthe deputy of the State Duma,
  • 00:14:35.728 --> 00:14:37.664
  • the legislativebranch in Russia,
  • 00:14:37.664 --> 00:14:39.699
  • Alexsa Zhukov said, "Turkey isturning from a secular state
  • 00:14:39.699 --> 00:14:42.869
  • into an Islamic state.
  • 00:14:42.869 --> 00:14:44.203
  • It has nothing todo with religion,
  • 00:14:44.203 --> 00:14:45.638
  • it is a political decision."
  • 00:14:45.638 --> 00:14:46.940
  • Think about whatChris just said.
  • 00:14:46.940 --> 00:14:48.408
  • - We'll be right back withmore of our discussion
  • 00:14:48.408 --> 00:14:50.710
  • about what we're doingright now at the ACLJ.
  • 00:14:50.710 --> 00:14:52.578
  • We're back on the broadcast.
  • 00:14:52.578 --> 00:14:54.347
  • (soft music)
  • 00:14:54.347 --> 00:14:56.783
  • - I'm gonna go up toThann in Washington, DC
  • 00:14:59.879 --> 00:15:01.580
  • because Thann is also ourdesignated representative
  • 00:15:01.580 --> 00:15:03.515
  • of the United Nations.
  • 00:15:03.515 --> 00:15:05.017
  • The UN has designated thissite, with Turkey's consent,
  • 00:15:05.017 --> 00:15:08.087
  • they signed on to the treaties,the World Heritage site.
  • 00:15:08.087 --> 00:15:12.024
  • The World Heritage site wasin the status of a museum,
  • 00:15:12.024 --> 00:15:14.293
  • which allowed the mosaics,the depictions of Christ
  • 00:15:14.293 --> 00:15:17.363
  • to be fully, not onlyrestored but viewed.
  • 00:15:17.363 --> 00:15:20.366
  • And if people went inand silently prayed,
  • 00:15:20.366 --> 00:15:22.001
  • they had the right to do that.
  • 00:15:22.001 --> 00:15:23.502
  • Now, that's not happeningright now of course,
  • 00:15:23.502 --> 00:15:26.238
  • in light of all of this.
  • 00:15:26.238 --> 00:15:27.439
  • Now, we're puttingon a lot of pressure.
  • 00:15:27.439 --> 00:15:28.674
  • Let's talk about firstthe United Nations, Thann.
  • 00:15:28.674 --> 00:15:30.709
  • What are we doing?
  • 00:15:30.709 --> 00:15:31.844
  • What is the plan?
  • 00:15:31.844 --> 00:15:33.479
  • - Well, first of all, thevery reason it was designated
  • 00:15:33.479 --> 00:15:35.648
  • a World Heritage site
  • 00:15:35.648 --> 00:15:37.049
  • is because of the ecumenicalnature of the site.
  • 00:15:37.049 --> 00:15:39.285
  • So if you take that away,
  • 00:15:39.285 --> 00:15:40.552
  • it would no longermerit designation.
  • 00:15:40.552 --> 00:15:42.421
  • We are making that caseto the United Nations,
  • 00:15:42.421 --> 00:15:44.390
  • to the general assembly, Jay.
  • 00:15:44.390 --> 00:15:46.091
  • There's also gonna beopportunities to make it
  • 00:15:46.091 --> 00:15:47.893
  • to the human rights councilfor obvious reasons.
  • 00:15:47.893 --> 00:15:50.229
  • And then ultimately, I thinkmaybe the most important venue
  • 00:15:50.229 --> 00:15:53.365
  • is gonna be when theWorld Heritage Committee
  • 00:15:53.365 --> 00:15:55.801
  • sits for its next session.
  • 00:15:55.801 --> 00:15:57.336
  • They regularly review whetheror not that designation
  • 00:15:57.336 --> 00:16:00.139
  • continues to be warranted,
  • 00:16:00.139 --> 00:16:01.640
  • or if additional sitescan be added, Jay.
  • 00:16:01.640 --> 00:16:03.676
  • That's gonna be a perfectforum for us to make that case.
  • 00:16:03.676 --> 00:16:06.578
  • But look, ultimatelyit is going to take
  • 00:16:06.578 --> 00:16:08.480
  • the world ride responsethat we are seeing.
  • 00:16:08.480 --> 00:16:10.849
  • And that is gonnacontinue to have to be led
  • 00:16:10.849 --> 00:16:13.018
  • by the United States.
  • 00:16:13.018 --> 00:16:14.253
  • And just quickly, Jay,one other statement
  • 00:16:14.253 --> 00:16:16.221
  • I really think is worthus letting people know,
  • 00:16:16.221 --> 00:16:18.958
  • has been made.
  • 00:16:18.958 --> 00:16:20.459
  • The chairman of the SenateForeign Relations Committee,
  • 00:16:20.459 --> 00:16:22.661
  • James Risch, together
  • 00:16:22.661 --> 00:16:23.963
  • with the rankingmember, Bob Menendez.
  • 00:16:23.963 --> 00:16:26.098
  • So on a bipartisanbasis has said,
  • 00:16:26.098 --> 00:16:28.534
  • "We strongly denouncepresident Erdogan's decision
  • 00:16:28.534 --> 00:16:31.236
  • to convert Hagia Sophiafrom a museum into a mosque.
  • 00:16:31.236 --> 00:16:34.540
  • At point in thishistory, Hagia Sophia
  • 00:16:34.540 --> 00:16:36.408
  • served as a place of worshipfor Muslims and Christians,
  • 00:16:36.408 --> 00:16:39.378
  • and for decades hasbeen an extraordinary
  • 00:16:39.378 --> 00:16:41.413
  • and welcoming center topeople of all faiths, Jay.
  • 00:16:41.413 --> 00:16:44.917
  • That leadership fromthe United States
  • 00:16:44.917 --> 00:16:46.752
  • is what it's going to take
  • 00:16:46.752 --> 00:16:48.287
  • to make sure that thisworldwide response ensues.
  • 00:16:48.287 --> 00:16:51.123
  • And we will then in turn,
  • 00:16:51.123 --> 00:16:52.391
  • take that message to allof these various forums
  • 00:16:52.391 --> 00:16:53.993
  • at the United Nations.
  • 00:16:53.993 --> 00:16:55.427
  • - If you look at churchhistory and study persecution,
  • 00:16:55.427 --> 00:16:59.431
  • what you find, and I havebeen doing a lot of reading
  • 00:16:59.431 --> 00:17:01.300
  • the last week on thisbecause I was very concerned.
  • 00:17:01.300 --> 00:17:03.969
  • Whenever you starthiding or covering
  • 00:17:03.969 --> 00:17:07.673
  • symbols of Christ,symbols of people within,
  • 00:17:07.673 --> 00:17:12.611
  • of the disciples.
  • 00:17:13.812 --> 00:17:15.014
  • When you start coveringthe depictions of the cross
  • 00:17:16.448 --> 00:17:18.751
  • or the baby Jesus,whatever it might be,
  • 00:17:18.751 --> 00:17:20.719
  • you start covering itas if it doesn't exist,
  • 00:17:21.954 --> 00:17:25.057
  • you're attackingChristianity worldwide.
  • 00:17:25.057 --> 00:17:26.992
  • You could just happento be using the site as,
  • 00:17:26.992 --> 00:17:29.161
  • of one of the holiest sites.
  • 00:17:29.161 --> 00:17:30.863
  • Now, this is not the firsttime there's been persecution.
  • 00:17:32.398 --> 00:17:33.999
  • I wanna be clear of something.
  • 00:17:33.999 --> 00:17:35.267
  • I've been studying thepersecution issue a lot.
  • 00:17:35.267 --> 00:17:37.970
  • And this is a act
  • 00:17:37.970 --> 00:17:40.906
  • of horrible discriminationagainst Christianity.
  • 00:17:40.906 --> 00:17:43.442
  • But there have beenmartyrs for the faith
  • 00:17:44.877 --> 00:17:47.513
  • because they dared to go
  • 00:17:48.414 --> 00:17:49.681
  • into places likeHagia Sophia to pray.
  • 00:17:49.681 --> 00:17:53.752
  • And their martyrdom matters too.
  • 00:17:55.154 --> 00:17:58.123
  • So it's not just,
  • 00:17:58.123 --> 00:17:59.391
  • you don't have to justlook back in history.
  • 00:17:59.391 --> 00:18:00.826
  • I think about thosekids years ago,
  • 00:18:00.826 --> 00:18:02.728
  • it was about 20 years ago,
  • 00:18:02.728 --> 00:18:03.929
  • that were prayingaround their flag pole
  • 00:18:03.929 --> 00:18:05.831
  • and a guy came up to them,the student and shot them.
  • 00:18:05.831 --> 00:18:08.467
  • But only shot them,
  • 00:18:09.368 --> 00:18:10.602
  • if he asked them ifthey were Christians.
  • 00:18:10.602 --> 00:18:12.438
  • I remember that one girlwas like the last one shot,
  • 00:18:12.438 --> 00:18:14.873
  • and her classmates heard this.
  • 00:18:14.873 --> 00:18:16.308
  • And she had seen five orsix classmates get shot
  • 00:18:16.308 --> 00:18:19.711
  • by this lunatic.
  • 00:18:19.711 --> 00:18:21.380
  • And he said the samequestion every time.
  • 00:18:21.380 --> 00:18:23.782
  • And he asked her,"Are you a Christian?"
  • 00:18:23.782 --> 00:18:26.118
  • The gun pointed at her head,but if the answer is yes,
  • 00:18:27.719 --> 00:18:30.556
  • she was gonna be dead.
  • 00:18:30.556 --> 00:18:31.623
  • And she said, yes.
  • 00:18:32.991 --> 00:18:34.259
  • If you study early,that's a martyr.
  • 00:18:34.259 --> 00:18:37.729
  • You study early church history.
  • 00:18:37.729 --> 00:18:39.465
  • There was reigns of terroraimed at Christians.
  • 00:18:40.866 --> 00:18:43.469
  • Decius is one of theemperors, in a two year period
  • 00:18:44.770 --> 00:18:48.607
  • tried to wipe out in 249 to 251.
  • 00:18:48.607 --> 00:18:52.144
  • This was right at thebeginning of the church,
  • 00:18:52.144 --> 00:18:54.012
  • right in the beginningof Christianity.
  • 00:18:54.012 --> 00:18:55.447
  • Tried to wipe out theentire Christian population.
  • 00:18:55.447 --> 00:18:59.551
  • There was an individualnamed Leonidas,
  • 00:19:00.786 --> 00:19:04.656
  • who is now a Saint recognizedin the Greek church
  • 00:19:04.656 --> 00:19:08.293
  • and the Eastern Churchand the Western Church.
  • 00:19:08.293 --> 00:19:11.230
  • And with him were othervery young people.
  • 00:19:11.230 --> 00:19:15.634
  • One is, Saint Nika,23 year old woman.
  • 00:19:16.835 --> 00:19:19.238
  • I've not said, girl, but woman.
  • 00:19:19.238 --> 00:19:21.306
  • Same exact situationas those kids faced.
  • 00:19:21.306 --> 00:19:23.842
  • She stood for her faith.
  • 00:19:26.345 --> 00:19:27.579
  • You can have thosedepictions covered.
  • 00:19:27.579 --> 00:19:29.481
  • In this case, you canallow that to take place.
  • 00:19:31.416 --> 00:19:33.719
  • Andy, I think that'sthe fundamental aspect
  • 00:19:35.154 --> 00:19:37.422
  • why this is an attackon all Christians.
  • 00:19:37.422 --> 00:19:40.559
  • - Jay, I'm impressedwith your knowledge
  • 00:19:41.760 --> 00:19:43.795
  • of early church history.
  • 00:19:43.795 --> 00:19:45.464
  • And it means a great deal to me
  • 00:19:45.464 --> 00:19:47.466
  • as a Greek OrthodoxChristian, and Hagia Sophia
  • 00:19:47.466 --> 00:19:50.669
  • is my cathedral, for you to besaying that to our audience.
  • 00:19:50.669 --> 00:19:54.840
  • It means a great deal to me.
  • 00:19:54.840 --> 00:19:56.875
  • You don't cover up theimage of the cross.
  • 00:19:56.875 --> 00:19:59.411
  • The cross is our salvation.
  • 00:19:59.411 --> 00:20:01.713
  • The cross is what conquers.
  • 00:20:01.713 --> 00:20:03.682
  • Christ conquers, (speaksforeign language),
  • 00:20:03.682 --> 00:20:05.651
  • Jesus Christ bythat symbol conquer.
  • 00:20:08.687 --> 00:20:11.990
  • And Saint Nika, who was a martyrto the Deacon prosecutions
  • 00:20:11.990 --> 00:20:16.261
  • in 283, exactly that.
  • 00:20:16.261 --> 00:20:19.064
  • We must be willing tobe martyrs for the faith
  • 00:20:19.064 --> 00:20:22.801
  • just like those CopticChristians who were executed
  • 00:20:22.801 --> 00:20:27.306
  • on the shores of theMediterranean in Libya.
  • 00:20:27.306 --> 00:20:30.943
  • 21 martyrs, not that long ago,
  • 00:20:30.943 --> 00:20:33.946
  • just a few years ago wereasked by the Muslims,
  • 00:20:33.946 --> 00:20:37.683
  • are you Christians?
  • 00:20:37.683 --> 00:20:39.184
  • And they said, yes.
  • 00:20:39.184 --> 00:20:40.552
  • And one Sub-Saharan,a black African
  • 00:20:40.552 --> 00:20:44.089
  • who was not even aChristian was asked,
  • 00:20:44.089 --> 00:20:48.193
  • "Are you with these people?"
  • 00:20:48.193 --> 00:20:50.095
  • And he said, yes.
  • 00:20:50.095 --> 00:20:51.463
  • And he to receive thecrown of martyrdom
  • 00:20:51.463 --> 00:20:55.267
  • because he was executed.
  • 00:20:55.267 --> 00:20:57.169
  • We cannot let the symbolof Christian faith,
  • 00:20:57.169 --> 00:21:00.639
  • the greatest ChristianChurch in the eastern world
  • 00:21:00.639 --> 00:21:04.243
  • after St. Peter's in the west,
  • 00:21:04.243 --> 00:21:06.478
  • we have HagiaSophia in the east.
  • 00:21:06.478 --> 00:21:09.348
  • We cannot let that church bedesecrated by the new Sultan
  • 00:21:09.348 --> 00:21:14.286
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • 00:21:14.286 --> 00:21:16.588
  • - As always, let methank everybody at TBN
  • 00:21:16.588 --> 00:21:19.091
  • for providing thistime to us at no cost
  • 00:21:19.091 --> 00:21:21.793
  • so we can update you
  • 00:21:21.793 --> 00:21:22.995
  • on the most importantissues of the day.
  • 00:21:22.995 --> 00:21:24.730
  • From all of us theACLJ, thanks, TBN.
  • 00:21:24.730 --> 00:21:27.299
  • (soft music)
  • 00:21:27.299 --> 00:21:29.701
  • - Thanks to yoursupport of the ACLJ,
  • 00:21:54.626 --> 00:21:55.827
  • we have had many victories.
  • 00:21:55.827 --> 00:21:57.562
  • - The IRS, now formallyapologizing to tea party groups.
  • 00:21:57.562 --> 00:22:01.033
  • - The IRS did the right thing
  • 00:22:01.033 --> 00:22:02.234
  • by resolving the casewith an injunction
  • 00:22:02.234 --> 00:22:04.069
  • that mandated a complete change
  • 00:22:04.069 --> 00:22:05.671
  • of the IRS nonprofittax exempt work
  • 00:22:05.671 --> 00:22:07.639
  • as it relates to issueadvocacy organization.
  • 00:22:07.639 --> 00:22:09.608
  • - If any group feels likethey're being targeted,
  • 00:22:09.608 --> 00:22:12.277
  • they can go to federalcourt and bring our case,
  • 00:22:12.277 --> 00:22:15.781
  • thus a victory.
  • 00:22:15.781 --> 00:22:17.249
  • - We had an organizationthat believed in our claim.
  • 00:22:17.249 --> 00:22:19.885
  • They knew that we wereright and they were going
  • 00:22:19.885 --> 00:22:21.753
  • to help navigate that processto help us achieve success,
  • 00:22:21.753 --> 00:22:24.756
  • and they did.
  • 00:22:24.756 --> 00:22:25.957
  • - It's one of themost significant wins
  • 00:22:25.957 --> 00:22:27.459
  • in the ACLJ's history , totake on the IRS and win.
  • 00:22:27.459 --> 00:22:29.995
  • - For more than27 years, the ACLJ
  • 00:22:29.995 --> 00:22:32.431
  • has been fighting forfreedom and Liberty
  • 00:22:32.431 --> 00:22:34.232
  • in the United Statesand around the globe.
  • 00:22:34.232 --> 00:22:36.468
  • (indistinct chatter)
  • 00:22:37.436 --> 00:22:39.104
  • - These are young peoplein their 20s and 30s
  • 00:22:39.104 --> 00:22:40.505
  • that are doing thisand fighting for life
  • 00:22:40.505 --> 00:22:42.007
  • at a whole new level to beatback the abortion juggernaut.
  • 00:22:42.007 --> 00:22:45.043
  • We've got a wholegroup of young lawyers
  • 00:22:45.043 --> 00:22:46.411
  • that are defending them.
  • 00:22:46.411 --> 00:22:48.180
  • - Those of us thatbelieve in life
  • 00:22:48.180 --> 00:22:49.448
  • know that we're on theright side of history.
  • 00:22:49.448 --> 00:22:50.682
  • We understand full well,children are children,
  • 00:22:50.682 --> 00:22:52.417
  • and they're preciousin God's sight,
  • 00:22:52.417 --> 00:22:53.752
  • and they're preciousin our nation's sight,
  • 00:22:53.752 --> 00:22:55.220
  • and they're precious to parents.
  • 00:22:55.220 --> 00:22:56.688
  • - We have to not justsay that we are pro-life.
  • 00:22:56.688 --> 00:22:58.657
  • We have to actually be pro-life.
  • 00:22:58.657 --> 00:23:00.659
  • We have to get uncomfortableto do everything we can
  • 00:23:00.659 --> 00:23:05.097
  • to promote a culture of life.
  • 00:23:05.097 --> 00:23:06.965
  • - But I actually thinkwe're winning this.
  • 00:23:06.965 --> 00:23:08.467
  • This is one of the socialissues we're winning.
  • 00:23:08.467 --> 00:23:10.736
  • - We have to be cognizantof the fact that globally,
  • 00:23:10.736 --> 00:23:13.605
  • persecution isn't as aliveand well as it has ever been.
  • 00:23:13.605 --> 00:23:16.808
  • - The level of persecutionis on the rise.
  • 00:23:16.808 --> 00:23:18.777
  • It's being reported more.
  • 00:23:18.777 --> 00:23:20.245
  • - We're talking about situations
  • 00:23:20.245 --> 00:23:21.513
  • where people are put in jail,
  • 00:23:21.513 --> 00:23:23.281
  • threatened death orlife imprisonment,
  • 00:23:23.281 --> 00:23:26.418
  • simply because of who theyare and what they believe.
  • 00:23:26.418 --> 00:23:30.455
  • - For the releaseof Andrew Brunson,
  • 00:23:30.455 --> 00:23:32.891
  • he is the American evangelicalfrom North Carolina,
  • 00:23:32.891 --> 00:23:35.827
  • held in Turkey formore than two years.
  • 00:23:35.827 --> 00:23:38.463
  • - They're rushingus to the airport
  • 00:23:38.463 --> 00:23:40.432
  • and there was an air forceplane that came from Germany
  • 00:23:40.432 --> 00:23:44.102
  • that had been on standby.
  • 00:23:44.102 --> 00:23:45.537
  • We're flying, and theyfinally left Turkish airspace.
  • 00:23:45.537 --> 00:23:49.107
  • It's like, okay,now we're really,
  • 00:23:49.107 --> 00:23:51.877
  • we're really out ofTurkey and free again.
  • 00:23:51.877 --> 00:23:55.447
  • - We're grateful to ACLJ whoput it out to these people,
  • 00:23:55.447 --> 00:23:59.351
  • they we're getting all this out.
  • 00:23:59.351 --> 00:24:01.052
  • - All of the people whopray for us through ACLJ
  • 00:24:01.052 --> 00:24:04.423
  • and through your contacts,I'm thankful, I'm grateful.
  • 00:24:04.423 --> 00:24:08.527
  • And actually I'm astounded.
  • 00:24:08.527 --> 00:24:11.296
  • - We need your help as wecontinue this work here
  • 00:24:11.296 --> 00:24:13.732
  • in the United Statesand around the world.
  • 00:24:13.732 --> 00:24:16.468
  • (soft music)
  • 00:24:16.468 --> 00:24:18.870
  • - They gave us the force.
  • 00:24:20.472 --> 00:24:21.706
  • They stood up for us,they fought for us.
  • 00:24:21.706 --> 00:24:22.908
  • - Our job as the law wasto make sure our clients
  • 00:24:25.544 --> 00:24:27.879
  • were able to communicatetheir message of life.
  • 00:24:27.879 --> 00:24:30.382
  • (soft music)
  • 00:24:30.382 --> 00:24:32.818
  • - It was an amazingthing to be convicted
  • 00:24:34.586 --> 00:24:37.088
  • and then a day later on,
  • 00:24:37.088 --> 00:24:38.590
  • back in the States with myfamily and in The White House
  • 00:24:38.590 --> 00:24:42.160
  • (rousing soft music)
  • 00:24:42.160 --> 00:24:45.230