Russian Orthodox Leader Warns Turkey Over Hagia Sophia Move

The leader of Russia’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill said on Monday he was “deeply concerned” by calls in Turkey to alter the status of the Hagia Sophia, the historic former cathedral in Istanbul.

Turkey’s top court is debating whether one of the architectural wonders of the world can be redesignated as a mosque, a move that could inflame tensions with the West and the Christian community. 

A ruling expected in the coming days on the site, which is currently a museum.

Kirill said in a statement he was “deeply concerned” by the moves, describing Hagia Sophia as “one of the greatest monuments of Christian culture”.

“A threat to Hagia Sophia is a threat to the whole of Christian civilization, and therefore to our spirituality and history,” the Orthodox church leader said.

“To this day, for every Russian Orthodox person, Hagia Sophia is a great Christian shrine,” he said, urging the Turkish government to be cautious.

He said that altering the current neutral status of the historic building would cause “deep pain” among the Russian people.

Hagia Sophia was first constructed as a cathedral in the Christian Byzantine Empire in the sixth century but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453.

Transforming it into a museum was a key reform of the post-Ottoman authorities under the modern republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

But calls for it to serve again as a mosque have sparked anger among Christians and tensions between historic foes and uneasy NATO allies Turkey and Greece.

(c) The Moscow Times

4 comments

  • “To this day, for every Russian Orthodox person, Hagia Sophia is a great Christian shrine,” he said, urging the Turkish government to be cautious.

    BS Mr KGB church guy. Hagia Sophia was a mosque from 1451 until 1931, FA to do with the Orthodox Church or Christianity. I doubt more than handful of Russians even knew the place existed, but of course Muscovy never interfere with the internal affairs of another country.

    Liked by 2 people

  • “A threat to Hagia Sophia is a threat to the whole of Christian civilization, and therefore to our spirituality and history,” the Orthodox church leader said.

    Wrong. Allowing muslim scum into our countries is the biggest threat. We must deport them, kill them if necessary. Yet the ruSSian shithole is the last who should complain. Christians murdering christian ukrainians and stealing their land are completely disqualified for even taking part in a disqussion concerning orthodoxy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good point Mike. I can’t remember the last time a Christian nation invaded another Christian nation. Which also says much about whether or not Moskovia truly is a Christian nation.
      Aside from that, the Moskali have zero opinion on this matter and would do better to concentrate on advancing as a society to the point that they can make their own underwear…..
      On the other hand, Muslims do not respect any Christian traditions and I think they’d level every Christian church if they could.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Muscovy has neber been a christian nation. The only reason they allow a church is to brainwash people, and it is run by the FSB, not clergymen.

        Liked by 2 people

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