10 July 2020
Topic of the day
Russian Orthodox Church says turning Hagia Sophia into mosque will have consequences for all of humankind
Moscow, July 10, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church is foreseeing negative implications of a global scale from the turning of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia cathedral into a mosque.
"This is an event that may have serious consequences for the entire human civilization. It is regrettable that the Turkish leader didn't have the statesmanship," deputy head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Nikolay Balashov told Interfax on Friday.
Hagia Sophia's losing its museum status is a blow to the global Orthodox Christianity, Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, said.
"It is with great regret, with great pain that we have perceived this decision made today. This is a blow to the whole global Orthodox [Christianity] because Hagia Sophia to all Orthodox Christians the world over is the same symbol as St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome is to Catholics," Metropolitan Hilarion said on the Rossiya-24 television channel on Friday.
For the Russian Orthodox Church, this cathedral "remains a temple dedicated to the Christ the Savior," he said.
"It has to be stated that the concerns of millions of Christians were not heard," head of the Synodal Department for Church, Society and Media Relations Vladimir Legoyda told Interfax on Friday.
Photo by Polat Kalender