European nations protest the conversion of ‘Hagia Sophia’ into a mosque. Here’s why

Russia also expressed its concern over the conversion of the museum into the mosque.

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Several European nations have protested Turkey’s remarks on converting Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

Hagia Sophia is a former Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, which was converted into a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople (Istanbul). It was then later converted into a museum in 1935 by the secular founding father of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

It has been a wish of many Turkish people to see Hagia Sophia converted back to a mosque since then.

Turkish President Erdoğan has escalated tensions with the country’s historic rival, Greece, after publicly speaking about plans to reconvert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque. The Greeks consider themselves as the cultural heirs of the former Byzantine Empire, under whose reign Hagia Sophia was built.

Photo credits to https://www.pallasweb.com/deesis/picturegallery.html

Appeals to Turkey to not change the status quo of Hagia Sophia also came from Russia and Ukraine, countries where the Christian Church traces its origin to Hagia Sophia.

“This temple played a critical role in the culture and history of Ukrainian people,” said a letter to Erdogan from religious groups in Ukraine. “For nearly half of a millennium, Hagia Sophia was the main cathedral for our Ukrainian Сhurch. This temple served as a prototype for our own most sacred cathedral, the Saint Sophia of Kyiv. It was the paragon of numerous churches — as well as numerous mosques.”

Russia also expressed its concern over the conversion of the museum into the mosque. The head of the Moscow Patriarchate department for external church relations said, “Any attempt to change the status quo of Hagia Sophia as a museum will violate the fragile inter-religious and inter-confessional balances, which have been established by now.”

Interior of Hagia Sophia.

Orthodox Christian group pleads Trump to ‘save’ Hagia Sophia from mosque conversion.

Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, begged Trump to prevent “this sacrilegious and unnecessary decision.”

He also says that this decision is to boost efforts to delegitimize the remaining Christian population of Turkey, adding that the site does not ‘belong’ to Turkey but rather to the whole world.

However, unlike officials of the Greek Orthodox Church and other Christian churches, the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Sahak II, surprisingly supported the government’s plan to change the Hagia Sophia back to a mosque. The Patriarch tweeted on Saturday that the Hagia Sophia should really be opened of worship, and he suggested that space must also be allocated for Christians as well.

    Prime Minister (23k + posts)

    Hagia Sophia belongs to Orthodox Christians ( mainly in Russia now ) and should be given back to them. It was a mistake to turn it into a mosque before and since it is a museum now, it will be a mistake again to turn it into a mosque now.

    It will be a gesture of goodwill and friendship to a people who, as prophesied in Quran, will join hands with muslims to fight and defeat the evil forces of Dajjal in the end times…and Allah knows best.

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    Senator (1k + posts)

    Agreed with Saboo,

    This was not just any church, this was the head church of Orthodox christianity, akin to Holy mosque of Medina for us Muslims. This along with any active religious structure should never have converted, and theres no mosque needed there any way, right in front Haga Sofia there is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque/Blue mosque, the main mosque of Ottoman Khalifas.

    Also, it would be politically a shitty move to piss off the orthodox Russians, when they are more friendly towards muslims, than the others.

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    Senator (1k + posts)

    Our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) asked us to protect churches and worship places of other religions…in view of this we must not convert this to a mosque..its already a museum…let it be…the christian’s sentiment must not be hurt…however, west has no right to ask about it…what they have done with our historic mosques?…

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    Minister (4k + posts)

    Do we need more mosques ?  Islam is the easiest way of life if you want can pray anywhere on the earth. Why start another controversy or stupidity.

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