Reflecting the sentiments of anger and indignation of the Cypriot people, the Church of Cyprus expresses deep sorrow and concern over the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The Church of Cyprus refers to the plunder of most Christians monuments located on the occupied side of the island.
The hierarchs of Cyprus express their regret after finding that “there is no willingness to take measures against those who become daily “offend” the Christian faith and the values of our culture, in word and deed, due to the interests of the designated Christian or civilized Western countries.”
The Church of Cyprus speaks of a “conscious choice” on the part of Turkey that “decides to make a U-turn and move away from Europe to make the Islamic vision of the Ottoman Empire come true” while considering that even if a Muslim leader does not oppose this decision, then “the entire Muslim community becomes guilty, directly or indirectly supporting the move and goals of the Turkish leadership.” The Church of Cyprus warns that Turkey’s move by “will lead to a deep rift between Christianity and Islam.”
For us, it is a careless and unjustified action, but, for the Turkish leadership, it is a conscious choice from the moment it decides to make a U-turn and move away from Europe to make the Islamic vision of the Ottoman Empire come true.
Since the Cypriot Hierarchs do not believe that there is a possibility that the decision of the Turkish president will change, they propose – in the spirit of the proposal recently put forward by the Serbian Patriarch – to allow “the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the real owner, to officiate the Divine Liturgy for the Christians at the premises of Hagia Sophia, as the Muslim prayer will be held in another part.