In a 24 July statement on Hagia Sophia,reiterated its commitment to the universality of heritage as something that can create peace and respect for all faiths.
“We call for calm, in times when we see the use of religious sentiments and institutions in a manner that is divisive, thus pitting some believers against one another,” reads the statement. “We stand on the side of peace, and of deliberate, intentional, coexistence, particularly as we hear of the voices, and see the actions, of divisiveness and hatred from many quarters.”
The statement urges that faith not be used in the service of the interests of the few. “Rather, we rally the spirit of all, for a peace that goes beyond any one faith, any race, any gender, any ethnicity, any label, any institution, and any nation,” reads the text. “We are committed to modelling the call we make to all: to show mercy, love and compassion, precisely in these moments in our shared history, and appeal that power be used with compassion and respect for the other rather than to spread hatred, fear and anxiety.”