Ancient Bible Seized by Anti-smuggling Team

Friday, February 15th, 2019

A Bible that is believed to be 1,200 years old has been seized by an anti-smuggling team in south-eastern Turkey.

The city of Diyarbakir governor’s office has confirmed that security forces received intelligence information that people were seeking buyers for the ancient 34-page manuscript written on leather with gold-encrusted motifs.

Security forces say six people have been detained in connection with the incident but no further details of the whereabouts of the Bible have been given.

The Anatolian heartland is home to numerous holy sites revered by Christians and Turkish authorities, resulting in a clamp down on the attempted smuggling of ancient artefacts.

In Turkey’s cultural capital of Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia is a former Eastern Orthodox church which was once the largest in Christendom. It was converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Turks, and into a museum in 1935.

Now Christians form a small minority in the predominantly Muslim population of Turkey, a country of 82 million people.

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