10 July 2020, 10:36
Georgian Patriarchate concerned about Turkish authorities' idea of making Hagia Sophia mosque
Tbilisi, July 10, Interfax - The Georgian Patriarchate calls on the Turkish administration to be wise and not to make Hagia Sophia a mosque, keeping the museum status of the building.
"Today it will be a wise step if Hagia Sophia remains a neutral space," the Georgian Patriarchate said in a statement.
The Georgian Orthodox Church is closely following the situation with the cathedral, the statement said.
In a situation "when humanity faces many global challenges, it is very important to keep and strengthen good relations between Christians and Muslims," the Georgian Patriarchate said.
The statement says the Georgian Orthodox Church respects Turkey's sovereignty and hopes that Turkey will not take the position of the Georgian Patriarchate as interference in its internal affairs, but will see it as an expression of the concerns of one of the oldest Orthodox churches.
Built in the 6th century, the Byzantine architectural monument acquired the status of a museum in 1935 on the orders of First Turkish President Ataturk and was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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