The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece issued a statement regarding the issue of Hagia Sophia and the threats of the Turkish government to convert it into a mosque.
It is worth noting that this is the first official reaction of the Orthodox Church to the recent rhetoric that Turkey has developed regarding the issue of changing the status of Hagia Sophia.
The Church of Greece reminds that the church of Hagia Sophia has universal value, “because Christianity has supranational and universal radiance. No modern or postmodern conception of “multiculturalism” has created the monument, through which the Christian conception of the supreme Good and Beautiful is expressed in a unique way.”
The Synod also called on the Turkish government to show prudence and respect for the character of the monument, and to decide to maintain it as a museum.
Specifically, the Holy Synod in its announcement states that “the Temple of the Hagia Sophia (Holy God’s Wisdom) was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian, it was inaugurated on December 27, 537 AD. and was intended as a place of ecclesiastical worship, dedicated to the Wisdom of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a masterpiece of architectural genius and is world-renowned as a pre-eminent monument of Christian culture.
Its value remains universal, because Christianity has supranational and universal radiance. No modern or postmodern conception of “multiculturalism” has created the monument, through which the Christian conception of the supreme Good and Beautiful is expressed in a unique way.
We believe that the reversal of the culturally neutral use of the monument as a museum, which was prudently established by the Turkish Republic in 1934, attempts to turn a cultural space into a booty and a symbol of conquest.
Any transformation will bring about intense protest and frustration among Christians worldwide, while it will harm Turkey itself in various ways. The Church within this Temple has hosted many Synods of the highest importance for the Christian life and faith.
Besides, these preserved, of unspoken beauty, mosaic depictions of holy persons of the Christian faith, unceasingly proclaim with their silence the historical and spiritual connection of the Temple with Christianity.
It is absolutely necessary for the government of the neighboring country to have prudence and respect for the character of the monument, so that it can make the right decision to maintain the status quo of Hagia Sophia as a museum.”