Cyzicus, Turkey, August 24, 2020
In his homily during the Divine Liturgy celebrated at the historic Panagia Faneromeni Monastery in Cyzicus, Turkey, on Sunday, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople spoke of the beauty of the Agia Sophia and Chora churches and of the pain inflicted by their reconversion into mosques by the Turkish state.
“It is a fact that the conversion of Agia Sophia and now the Monastery of Chora into mosques has hurt us,” the Patriarch stressed, reports Romfea.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the conversion of the famous Chora church on Friday, though the move had been approved by the highest court in the land already in November. This follows on the conversion of the Agia Sophia Cathedral into a mosque last month, which sent shockwaves throughout the entire world.
“These two unique monuments of the city were built as Christian churches. They express the universal spirit of our faith, love, and the hope of eternity. The incomparable mosaics and their other icons are Heavenly food for the soul and an inexhaustible joy for the eyes, as Photios Kontoglou from Ayvalik would say, and they belong to the world cultural heritage,” the Patriarch continued.
In conclusion, the Constantinopolitan primate emphasized: “We ask the God of love, justice, and peace to enlighten the minds and hearts of those responsible.”