Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad to build new Hagia Sophia Church in protest against Turkey

The replica is to be built in the Greek Orthodox-majority city of Al-Suqaylabiyah, on a piece of land donated by the militia head Al-Abdullah.

Syrian President, dictator, tyrant, and murderer, Bashar Al-Assad. (REX Shutterstock)

The Syrian regime, under President Bashar Al-Assad, has declared that it will build a replica of the Hagia Sophia, in opposition to the Turkish government’s reversion of the historic building from a museum into a mosque.

The construction of this Hagia Sophia Church, taking place in the central province of Hama, will be helped by Syria’s prominent ally Russia and will allegedly show the value of “peaceful dialogue” between the major faiths.

According to the Lebanese news outlet Al-Modon, the idea for the building was started by Nabeul Al-Abdullah, the leader of a pro-regime loyalist militia within the province. After obtaining the approval of the Greek Orthodox church’s metropolitan bishop in Hama, Nicolos Baalbaki, the plans were then introduced to the Russian military within Syria.

The replica is to be built in the Greek Orthodox-majority city of Al-Suqaylabiyah, on a piece of land donated by the militia head Al-Abdullah, a Russian team within Latakia’s Hmeimim military base is allegedly already working on plans for the construction.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visit an Orthodox Christian church in Damascus, Syria on January 7, 2020 [Sputnik via Reuters/Alexei Druzhinin]
As per the Arabic-language newspaper Rai Al-Youm, Russian lawmaker Vitaly Milonov expressed that Syria is the ideal location for the Hagia Sophia replica as “unlike Turkey, it is a country that clearly shows the possibility of positive and peaceful interfaith dialogue.”

The original Hagia Sophia, based in Istanbul, was reverted into the status of a mosque after the Turkish government overturned a 1934 ruling, which converted it into a museum. The historic building was originally built as a cathedral by the Byzantine Empire before being made into a mosque following the Ottoman conquest.

It has long been debated over and many of those opposed to Turkey’s decision argue that it should have been kept as a museum or turned back into a church.

Women celebrating outside the Hagia Sophia after a top court overturned its status as a museum on July 10, 2020. (Reuters)

Syria’s aim to construct a replica of the historic building is seen to serve as a gesture of revenge against Turkey, against whom it is battling in the ongoing Syrian civil war. It is also a symbolic gesture by the Assad regime towards the Syrian Christian community. It has posed as being a protector of, notwithstanding having targeted churches and persecuting Syrian Christians during the civil war.

As per opposition activists who spoke to Al-Modon, Moscow’s support and assistance towards the project is a method of justifying its military presence within Syria and its backing of Al-Assad based on Russian ties to the Syrian Christian community. The activists also said that the militia head Al-Abdullah, who donated the land for the construction, aims to strengthen his relations with Russia if the Assad regime were to fall.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.

  • Pehlay apni hakomat aur apnay mulk kay awam ko jang aur is ki resha dawanion se tu nijat dilwa lo
    Aur shaheedon aulia Alllah aur suhaba ki qabron aur masajad ki bey hurmati is beghairat nay karwai hai
    Is ka hisab pehlay de

  • Asad is a Kafir anyways. He will do anything to please his father Putin. May ALLAH curse them all …. Erdogan is yo destroy them all. May ALLAH enable him to lead whole Ummah.

  • Do not trust Assad, he only uses minorities and then turns on them like a rabid wolf if they don’t support him or say something against him. Now he’s just kissing Putin’s behind by pretending to be friendly toward Christians. Too little too late.

  • Lanat walon pe is haram zidgi ko aisa soft title denay pe, kisi Christian ki aulad

  • Inki Zindagi khatum hai Musalmanoon ki mukhalifat aur ghairmuslimoon ki ghulami may. Inpay Allah li laanat baras rahi hai lekin inki aankhain nahi khul rahi hain.

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