Christian leaders claim Communist-led Kerala teaching false history of Hagia Sophia

    22-Jul-2022   
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Kerala Christian leaders have heavily criticized Kerala's Education Department over Hagia Sophia’s history provided in the State Board's textbooks. Church priests have questioned the distorted version of the history of Istanbul's ancient Cathedral Hagia Sophia being taught in schools in communist-ruled Kerala.
 
Hagia Sophia 
 
Father Jacob G Palakkappilly, spokesman of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), said, "It is quite disturbing to note that students in Class Seven were being taught a false history of one of the world's greatest Byzantine monuments originally built as a church."
 
The textbook for Class Seven in Kerala has a lesson under the title, "Europe in the path of transformation," which described the ancient cathedral as a "historical monument" but hid the fact that it was originally a Christian church that was turned into a mosque, the priest told UCA News.
 
"Why did the Government safely bury its Christian connection," asked Father Palackkapilly. "When you teach history, you need to explain who, what, when, where, and how, failing which new generations are misled to believe falsehoods."
 
"We know how the cathedral was converted into a mosque in 2020. It made world news," said Mathew Xavier, a concerned parent, who appealed to the Government to present the real history of Hagia Sophia while seeking action against those behind the manipulation.
 
Erdogan's decision had reportedly become a political issue ahead of provincial polls in Kerala, after the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), one of the constituents of the Congress-led, ruling United Democratic Front (UDF), was accused of supporting the reconversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.