Thursday, September 5, 2013

Ecumenical Patriarchate criticizes plan to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque

I've posted numerous times about several Hagia Sophia former churches in Turkey being converted back into mosques, the most recent and notable being the ancient Hagia Sophia in Trebizond. See here, here, here, here, here and here...

Ecumenical Patriarchate criticizes plan to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque
Hurriyet Daily News via Jihad Watch — 9/5/2013

Rapidly re-Islamizing Turkey has already converted two churches back into mosques. They were converted to mosques at the time of the jihad conquest of the Byzantine Empire, and then made museums by the secular Turkish government. The same thing happened to the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, once the foremost and grandest church in the entire Christian world. Its reconversion to use as a mosque would be the crowning hallmark of Turkey's re-Islamization and re-Ottomanization.

"Hagia Sophia mosque conversion under fire," from the Hürriyet Daily News, Sept. 5 

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate released a statement criticizing the possible reconversion of the Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul into a mosque.

The statement said that there was a possibility of the “church-turned-mosque-turned-museum” in Istanbul being reconverted into a mosque, as two previous cases of Hagia Sophia churches that were recently in İznik and Trabzon.

“There are now indications that certain factions are endeavoring to cultivate in popular opinion the notion that Haghia Sophia of Istanbul, the symbol of Christian faith, should be turned into a mosque,” said the statement released by the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle that was written by Nikolaos Manginas.

The statement recalled that a Turkish citizen had submitted an application a few months ago to the National Assembly for the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The Ecumenical Patriarchate also criticized an article published in the official magazine of Turkish Airlines, Skylife, in August 2013, which was titled, “Hagia Sophia: The Sultans’ Mosque,” and which mentioned the return of the museum into its former “spiritual aura,” referring to its days of serving as a mosque.

The statement further said said that the article presented the history from a one-sided point of view and that it was not acceptable.

“The selective presentation of the Church’s true history, a history that transformed nations and cultures, is unacceptable,” the Ecumenical Patriarchate added.