Archbishop Elpidophoros Comments on Hagia Sophia Mosque Conversion

The National Herald Archive

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros presiding over the Divine Liturgy at St. Demetrios Cathedral in Astoria. Photo: GOA/ Dimitrios Panagos

NEW YORK- Earlier today, July 10, 2020 Turkish authorities paved the way for Turkey's 1934 statute making the Hagia Sophia into a museum, earning UNESCO World Heritage Site status in the process, to be overturned.

Hours after that decision was reached, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a declaration announcing that the Hagia Sophia Museum in Constantinople was to be turned into a mosque and available for prayer. 

Across the Atlantic, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America commented on those developments on his Twitter account saying, "We hope that the terrible news about Hagia Sophia does not signal a deterioration of the stand of the Turkish government toward the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the other Christian minorities of Turkey, and a negative turn from respect for religious freedom...The re-conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is the worst example of religious chauvinism. By shuttering Hagia Sophia as a monument, Turkey has shut the window that Ataturk opened to the world".