Islamic tolerance alert from Sandro Magister in Chiesa (thanks to Tom Syseskey): “In the northern part of the island, occupied by Turkey, the churches have become stables or mosques….”
ROMA, March 9 2006 — The island of Cyprus was the first destination of the “special mission” that the Holy Spirit entrusted to Paul and Barnabas, according to what is written in the Acts of the Apostles, in chapter 13.
On the island they found a Roman governor, Sergius Paulus, “an intelligent man who wanted to hear the word of God and believed, deeply shaken by the teaching of the Lord.”
But if Paul and Barnabas were to return to Cyprus today, to the northern part of the island, they would find not the Romans as governors, but the Turks.
And instead of a Christianity being born, they would find a dying Christianity, with the churches and monasteries in ruin, or else transformed into stables, hotels, and mosques.
This is documented in a startling report from Luigi Geninazzi, who was sent to Cyprus by “Avvenire,” the newspaper of the Italian bishops” conference.
Cyprus became part of the European Union on May 1, 2004. But this was true only for the southern part of the island, which is Greek and Christian.
The northern part was occupied by Turkey in 1974, with 40,000 soldiers. The Turkish occupation caused death, destruction, and a forced relocation of populations. About 200,000 Greek Cypriots of the Christian Orthodox faith who lived in the north of the island fled to the south. And likewise, the Turkish Cypriots of the south, Muslims, moved to the north.
In 1983 Turkey consolidated the occupation by creating a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is internationally recognized only by the government of Ankara: 180,000 persons live there, 100,000 of whom are colonists originally from Anatolia.
This is a recurring phenomenon of Islamic history, albeit quite little noted: population transfers for purposes of colonization. In Caesarea last fall I visited the Bosnian mosque, built for Muslims forcibly resettled there by the Ottoman Turks. There are innumerable such examples.
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