Turks remove iconostasis, set up boxing ring in church in occupied Cyprus

Kythrea, Nikosia, District, Cyprus, October 9, 2023

Photo: philenews.com Photo: philenews.com     

The Turkish authorities occupying half of Cyprus continue to desecrate and abuse holy Orthodox churches there.

In one of the most recent examples, the Church of St. Anna in Kythrea, Nicosia District, was turned into a boxing school. It is unknown what happened to the icons on the iconostasis that the “owners” of the boxing school removed, reports philenews.com.

Photo: philenews.com Photo: philenews.com     

Earlier, the church was desecrated when it was converted into a mosque. It was built around 1850, but after the Turkish invasion of 1974, it functioned as a mosque until three or four years ago. Having been severely damaged over the years, the local occupying authorities abandoned the building and built another mosque across the street.

Photo: philenews.com Photo: philenews.com     

When the local Orthodox faithful realized that the building had been abandoned, they took the initiative to clean it and erect a temporary iconostasis, with the hope that the locals would be able to visit the church, at least once a year on the feast of St. Anna (December 9).

Photo: philenews.com Photo: philenews.com     

Unfortunately, the occupying authorities then gave permits to Turkish settlers to open a gym in the church, and now punching bags hang from the ceiling and there is a boxing ring in the center of the church.

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