In a statement issued yesterday afternoon by the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in Athens, Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa expressed his great sorrow over the conversion of the most historical Christian monument of the East, Hagia Sophia, into a mosque.
“Turkey adds another big thorn in the peaceful coexistence of peoples and religions,” said the primate of the African Orthodox Church.
Read the full statement of the Patriarch of Alexandria:
“With great sadness and concern, I was informed of the conversion of the most historical Christian monument in the East, Hagia Sophia, into a mosque.
This challenge shakes things up and muddies, even more, the already troubled waters due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While during this period we must all fight together in harmony against the invisible enemy of the pandemic, Turkey adds another big thorn in the peaceful coexistence of peoples and religions.
While we in Egypt enjoy religious freedom and peaceful coexistence, and our President Sisi daily grants title deeds to our Christian churches, while the political and state authorities of our country freely allow us to operate our churches, to maintain them, to renovate and beautify them, in Turkey we see religious and cultural rights being used for other purposes, and, above all, we see history being altered and a new division is engendered for personal interests.
From the seat of St. Mark, we pray that logic will prevail and that God’s peace will reign over the world!”