Persecution of Christians in Turkey: the preventable collapse of this historic chapel is yet another manifestation the contempt for the Christian history and heritage of Asia Minor that we see in the conversion of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of the Holy Savior in Chora to mosques is not held solely by governing authorities, but by many of the people as well. The general contempt for Christianity and Christians is also manifested in the ongoing denial of property rights and legal identity to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.

“Treasure Hunters Damage Chapel in Turkey,” International Christian Concern, January 5, 2021:

01/05/2021 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkish media says that the only surviving part of the 18th century Ai Dimitri Monastery, the chapel, has collapsed because of frequent excavations by treasure hunters. There had been heavy rains in the area recently, but for several years treasure hunters had dug around the foundation, weakening the structure.

Turkey has a rich Christian history, but the presence of Christians was largely eliminated during the state-sponsored genocide in the early 1900s. Their churches were left in ruins, confiscated by the state, and/or turned into mosques, cultural centers, etc. The authorities also restrict access to these historic churches for the remaining Christian community to use as a place of worship.

During the genocide, a common misperception amongst society (which persists to this day) is that the Christian community had wealth. Thus abandoned sites associated with Christianity are often targeted by treasure hunters….