Fanar's Archdiocese of US declares mourning on mosque opening day at Sophia
The Greek Archdiocese of America has called for every flag raised on the Church property be lowered to half-mast as a sign of mourning due Hagia Sophia’s status change.
The Holy Synod of the Greek Archdiocese of America has called on believers to observe July 24 – the day when Muslim prayer will take place for the first time at Hagia Sophia – as a day of mourning and grief, reports the archdiocese's official website.
In this regard, the Holy Eparchial Synod asks that every church of the Greek Archdiocese of America should toll its bells in lamentation on this day and called for every flag of every kind that is raised on the Church property should be lowered to half-mast. The Synod urges invited fellow Orthodox Christians and indeed all Christians and people of goodwill to share in the observances.
In addition, every Phanar’s church in the United States shall chant the Akathist Hymn in the evening of this day, just as they “chant it on the Fifth Friday of the Great and Holy Fast”.
Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the head of the Greek Archdiocese of America, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, discussed with the U.S. candidate for presidency from the Democratic Party Joe Biden the issue of changing the status of the Church of Hagia Sophia from a museum to a mosque.