Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew sent a message to Turkey that a possible conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque would turn millions of Christians around the world against Islam.
The head of the Orthodox Christian Church globally addressed the issue in the wake of the ruling by Turkey’s Supreme Court of July 2 on whether the 1934 decree to change the UNESCO World Heritage site into a museum bore Kemal Ataturk’s genuine signature of it was falsified. If the court accepts the appeal, that is, considers that the signature is forged, then the process of turning the Hagia Sophia into a mosque will begin.
Bartholomew said the Turkish people had a responsibility to maintain the ecumenical character of the site. “The Hagia Sophia as a museum is a place and a symbol of meeting, solidarity and mutual understanding between Christianity and Islam “, the Ecumenical Patriarch underlined in his sermon after the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.
His reference to the controversy starts at 2:19:00 of the video.