Orthodox patriarch opposes plan to make Hagia Sophia a mosque
February 20, 2013
Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has staked out his opposition to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Once the patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque when Muslims conquered the city. In 1935, Turkey’s government made the building a museum, as part of the secularizing campaign under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk. But today Turkey’s government, while professing the same secular principles, has supported a campaign to build new mosques and convert some historic buildings into mosques. A proposal to make the Hagia Sophia a mosque is now under consideration in the Turkish parliament. ''We want Santa Sofia to remain a museum,” said Patriarch Bartholomew. The Orthodox prelate said that if the museum is converted to any religious use, it should become a Christian church, since it was built for that purpose.
For all current news, visit our News home page.
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!