Global Upfront Newspapers
Cover Europe News World News

Pope ‘very pained’ by decision to turn Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia (church) museum into mosque

  • The nearly 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia was once a Christian cathedral

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Sunday he was hurt by Turkey’s decision to make Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum a mosque, the latest religious leader to condemn the move.

“My thoughts go to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sophia and I am very pained,” he said during his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the first prayers would be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24, after declaring the ancient monument was once again a mosque following a court ruling revoking its status as a museum.Pope Francis sitting in front of a building: Pope Francis celebrates the Mass of Saint Peter and Paul, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican © Reuters/POOL New Pope Francis celebrates the Mass of Saint Peter and Paul, in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican

The World Council of Churches has called on Erdogan to reverse his decision and Patriarch Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, called it disappointing.

Erdogan said the nearly 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia, which was once a Christian cathedral, would remain open to Muslims, Christians and foreigners.

He added that Turkey had exercised its sovereign right in converting it to a mosque and would interpret criticism of the move as an attack on its independence.

Greece has condemned the move and UNESCO said its World Heritage Committee would review Hagia Sophia’s status and that Turkey’s decision raised questions about the impact on its universal value as a site of importance transcending borders and generations.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

a view of a large body of water with a city in the background: Turkey's President Erdogan has formally converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque and reopened it for for worship as he drums up support for his Islamic-rooted party - sparking fury from Christian groups and the US. The move came hours after Turkey's highest administrative court issued a landmark ruling that unanimously annulled the 1934 cabinet decision to renovate the site into a museum. It meant the green light was given for Erdogan to restore the UNESCO World Heritage site's previous status as a mosque, and he has since declared it open for Muslim worship.
Advertize With Us

See Also:

Breaking: Parties apply to settle out of court in Edo “Stop Obaseki” PDP suit

Global Upfront

Billionaire Ray Dalio is one of the world’s richest hedge fund managers. Here are his best quotes on everything from the markets to meditation.

Global Upfront

COVID-19 takes its deadliest single day death toll of 15 in Nigeria, four in FCT

Global Upfront

25-year old man docked for alleged theft of Redeemed Church property, in Makurdi, Benue State

Global Upfront

Why did Danjuma visit Buhari? – A News Analysis.

Global Upfront

Nigeria’s COVID-19 figure jumps to 33,616 with 463 new cases, as NCDC insists on culture of wearing face masks

Global Upfront

Nigerian man allegedly kills wife in Italy

Global Upfront

Coronavirus: What’s happening around the world on Wednesday

Global Upfront

Presidency reverses self, says Buhari’s independence day Radio/TV broadcast holds 7am

Global Upfront

Trump asked China president to help him win 2020 election, new Bolton book claims

Global Upfront

This website uses Cookies to improve User experience. We assume this is OK...If not, please opt-out! Accept Read More