Russia church reject Turkey's Hagia Sophia mosque conversion plans

The Russian Orthodox Church has rejected the proposed conversion of Turkey's historic Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, stating the move could provoke inter-religious tensions, the Orthodox Times reported yesterday. "Any attempts to change the museum status of Hagia Sophia Cathedral will lead to changing and violating fragile inter-confessional balances," the church's head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, said. According to the Department's International Religious Freedom Report, the US State Department also notes that senior US government officials expressed to Turkish officials their view that Hagia Sophia is a monument of exceptional significance that must be preserved in a way that respects its religious history. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other high-ranking officials have repeatedly expressed the view that the 6th century … Continue reading Russia church reject Turkey’s Hagia Sophia mosque conversion plans