As I walked outside the wall of the Istanbul Archeology Museum, I passed a cross that was carved into a discarded stone. The white stone rested amongst pillars and empty sarcophagi on a strip of gravel and grass next to the wall.
Earlier that day I saw many religious relics encased in glass, the Prophet’s Sword, the Prophet’s Beard Clippings, a gold encasement for the Karbala polished by thousands of hands, while an Imam’s amplified voice sang the words of the Koran.
Now staring, I wondered at the value of the white stone with the cross, which had no identifying marker. It had to be at least 500 years old, 1453 being the year in which the city fell to the conquering forces of Islam.
In parts of the world today, there are people who follow the Islamic faith, because their people “have always been followers of Islam.” In these same places, the truth is, that before they were followers of the prophet, they were followers of Christ.
The Heritage Project will tell the stories of the early Christian church in places like North Africa, where hundreds of years of revisionist history have placed the Hope of the Cross outside the walls.
The coming months will require much from the IMM team, the scriptwriters, translators, artists and broadcasters. We’ll need your prayers as we work together to bring the rejected cross of Christ back across the high walls of closed cultures, so it may become a cornerstone in the hearts of future believers.