On heels of Panagia Sumela ad scandal, Sony set to film movie scenes in holy monastery

Trabzon, Turkey, February 15, 2022

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Seemingly unfazed by the scandal that erupted last week surrounding the profanation of Panagia Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, Turkish authorities are now allowing a Hollywood studio to shoot scenes for an upcoming film in the ancient monastery.

According to skai.gr, local Trabzon media is reporting that Sony Pictures upcoming film Spiral will include scenes shot in the monastery.

The shooting will take place on February 23-26, and nearly all necessary licenses have been obtained, with only that from the Prefecture of Trabzon pending.

An international scandal erupted last week when footage of the filming of an advertisement in the monastery courtyard was released. Orthodox hierarchs and faithful didn’t take kindly to the monastery being used as a nightclub with a DJ spinning electronica music.

The advertisement was condemned by a number of hierarchs and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece.


For centuries, the cliff-side monastery in the Black Sea city served as the cradle of Pontian Hellenism. After 88 years of banning access to the site, Turkey reopened it on August 15, 2010, and a new tradition of Patriarch Bartholomew celebrating the monastery’s patronal feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos there began. However, the monastery was closed for restoration in February 2016, and the Patriarch was not permitted to serve throughout the restoration process, which mostly addressed the stability of the cliff.

It was reopened in July 2020, and the Divine Liturgy was celebrated again on Dormition that year.

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Theodoros2/15/2022 7:49 pm
As outrageous as the Turkish government’s desecration of holy sites is the fact of the matter is the US Governments intervention in Church matters is even worse. Washington’s use of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as a weapon against the Russian Church is more serious. It is understandable that the bishops of Greece are angry over the desecration of this sacred Monastery. The bishops of Greece should have demonstrated similar outrage when American officials asked them to recognize the pseudo church in Ukraine. I too consider the desecration of this Monastery and the conversion of Hagia Sophia to be an outrage. At the same time I believe the crisis in Orthodoxy owing to the schism should be the number one priority for all Orthodox Including the Greek Churches. When the Greek Churches have been freed from the immoral and imperialistic influence of the US they will be in a stronger position to defend their holy sites in Constantinople and Asia Minor. Nothing but evil has occurred since Patriarch Bartholomew invaded Ukraine. Repentance and reconciliation with Orthodoxy are in order for the Churches of Greece and Constantinople.
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