Patriarch Theodore II of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria slammed on Sunday a decision by a Turkish court on Friday that allows the conversion of Istanbul s iconic Hagia Sophia -- a former cathedral-turned-mosque that now serves as a museum -- back into a mosque.
“I felt great sadness and concern at the conversion of the biggest historical Christian landmark in the East, the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia, into a mosque. This challenge stirs water already troubled during the coronavirus pandemic,” read the statement.
The head of the Greek Orthodox Church said that Turkey is using historical and cultural rights for other purposes, at a time in which people should come together and fight that invisible enemy of the coronavirus.
“The opposite happens in Egypt, as everybody enjoys religious freedom and peaceful coexistence, our President El-Sisi grants titles to our Christian churches on a daily basis, and the political authorities as well as the state allow us freedom of worship, renovation, beautification and preservation of our churches,” said Theodore.