Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute and host of the 𝘉𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘈𝘯𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘔𝘢𝘯 broadcast, talks about his recent trip to Istanbul, formerly Constantinople. “Constantine’s New Rome” or Constantinople was the seat of the Byzantine Empire for more than one thousand years—until it was overwhelmed by the Ottoman Empire. Constantinople was world-renowned for many reasons, including its architecture, not least of which is the phenomenal Hagia Sophia—the great Cathedral of the East—which today is a Mosque. Also thinking of the Crusades. For example, in 1204, crusaders stole many of the city’s Christian treasures. Yet today because of the relationship between the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, some of those great treasures have been returned to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. But see how fragile civilizations are—and how easily they can be lost! The way to maintaining the transformational power of Christ in empires—the sustaining power pointing to an empire that will last for eternity—is beautifully captured in the words of the Ecumenical Patriarch: “The Church, as a mystery of mutual Trinitarian love, is true to itself only if the circle of love is being constantly enlarged, only if new persons are continually being brought within it. Faith in the Triune God signifies that we are each of us missionaries, dedicated to the preaching of the Gospel.”

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