Greek Church Synod urges Turkey to maintain museum status of Hagia Sophia
The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church issued a statement regarding the plans of the Turkish government to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Any attempt to change the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul will lead to protests among Christians around the world and harm Turkey itself. This is said in a statement by the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church, reports the “Orthodox Times” on June 12, 2020.
The Church of Greece stresses that the Сhurch of Hagia Sophia has universal value, “because Christianity has a supranational and universal radiance. No modern or postmodern conception of ‘multiculturalism’ has created the monument, through which the Christian conception of the supreme Good and Beautiful is expressed in a unique way”.
The Synod also called on the Turkish government to show prudence and respect for the character of the monument and decide to maintain it as a museum.
“We believe that the reversal of the culturally neutral use of the monument as a museum, which was prudently established by the Turkish Republic in 1934, attempts to turn a cultural space into a booty and a symbol of conquest. Any transformation will bring about intense protest and frustration among Christians worldwide, while it will harm Turkey itself in various ways. The Church within this Temple has hosted many Synods of the highest importance for the Christian life and faith,” says the statement of the Greek Synod.
As reported by the SPJ, the State Council of Turkey will consider the possibility of changing the status of the Hagia Sophia church from a museum to an existing mosque on July 2.
Earlier, the U.S. State Department called the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul a symbol of peaceful coexistence of religions and called on the Turkish authorities not to change its museum status. In response to this, Turkey once again emphasized that the temple is their property and any actions on it are the prerogative of the Turkish side.