Archons strongly condemn Turkey’s decision to convert Chora Church

Archons strongly condemn Turkey’s decision to convert Chora Church

The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate note with dismay and strongly condemn Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to proceed with plans to convert the Monastery of Chora to a mosque.

“This is yet another contemptuous act against religious freedom perpetrated by the government of Turkey,” the Archons said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This ill-advised decision once again makes a mockery of the Turkish government’s commitment to religious tolerance and religious freedom,” it is noted in the statement.

It is also underlined that Hagia Sophia and the Chora Church have for centuries been a source of inspiration and enlightenment not only for millions of Orthodox Christians, but for people of other faith traditions all over the world.

“The Turkish government’s appropriation of both as the property of one faith group not only constitutes yet another sign of that government’s contempt for Turkey’s rich Orthodox Christian heritage, but further imperils the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the remaining Christians of that land.”

Archons “urgently call upon international organizations and governments of the world that are committed to religious freedom to compel the Turkish government to reverse this decision as well as the conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque, and to reestablish both with a status that respects their entire history, including their many centuries as centers of Christian prayer and worship.”


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