Armenian Church condemns Turkey's Hagia Sophia decision

Armenian Church condemns Turkey's Hagia Sophia decision

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian Church has condemned Turkey's decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque as "a politically motivated move that will greatly damage the mutual understanding and dialogue between religions."

In a statement published Tuesday, July 14, the Catholicos of All Armenians, Karekin II, called on Turkish authorities to reconsider the decision and return to the principle of "a peaceful prayerful coexistence of different religious communities" in the country.

The Catholicos described Turkey's decision as "one-sided and deplorable" which he said violates the rights of national religious minorities in the country.

According to the religious leader, the policy of the Turkish government evokes grave memories of the desecration and destruction of Armenian sanctuaries and those of other Christian nations by the Ottoman authorities.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on July 10 that he would turn the building back into a mosque, fulfilling a longtime promise of his.

The famous landmark, built as a cathedral during the Byzantine Empire, stood as a place of worship for Greek Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and Muslims for centuries before to being turn into a secular museum in the 1930s.

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