Mesogaia, Greece, July 27, 2020
The first Muslim prayers after the reconversion of the 6th-century Agia Sophia Cathedral into a mosque by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were held on Friday, despite the outcry from churches, religious organizations, and countries around the world.
Throughout the Greek-speaking Orthodox world and beyond, church bells were solemnly rung and the Akathist to the Mother of God was read as the first Islamic prayers rung out from Agia Sophia in Istanbul.
And, according to the call of one Greek hierarch, now is the time to fulfill the vow of their Greek ancestors and rebuild the glorious Agia Sophia.
Responding to the situation in Turkey, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki proposed that the Holy Synod, the Greek state, and the Greek people unite together to build a new cathedral outside of Athens, reports Mystagogy.
His Eminence’s proposal reads:
Perhaps now is the right time, in response to the ungodly provocation and insult of Turkey to turn the historic Christian church of Agia Sophia into a mosque, with the initiative of the Holy Synod and the help of the Greek State, for the Greek people as a whole to undertake the reconstruction of a new imposing church to the Wisdom of God, which is in fact a fulfillment of the oldest vow of our heroic ancestors.
The church is to be built at the entrance of our country from the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport of Athens, on the hill Chousmouza Paiania, that is, in the area that was designated twenty years ago for the Islamic mosque that was not built.