Persecution of Christians in Turkey: His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria and All Africa is, of course, correct when he says that “in Turkey we see religious and cultural rights being used for other purposes, and, above all, we see history being altered and a new division is engendered for personal interests.” The conversion of Hagia Sophia to a mosque was just one of many examples of the status of Christianity and Christians in Turkey. Here at ChristianPersecution.com we have covered many instances of the persecution of Christians in Turkey and manifestations of official contempt for its rich Christian heritage, as well as for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the remaining Christians of that country: see here.
The full statement of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on the conversion of Hagia Sophia is here.
“Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria Issues Statement on Hagia Sophia,” The National Herald, July 16, 2020:
ALEXANDRIA – Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria and All Africa in a statement expressed his great sorrow over the conversion of the most historical Christian monument of the East, Hagia Sophia, into a mosque.
The complete statement of Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria follows:
“I was informed with great sadness and concern, of the conversion into a mosque of the most historic Christian monument in the East, Hagia Sophia.
This challenge shakes things up and muddies, even more, the already troubled waters due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead during this period when we must all fight together in harmony against the invisible enemy of this pandemic, Turkey adds another big thorn in the peaceful coexistence of peoples and religions.
While we in Egypt enjoy religious freedom and peaceful coexistence, and our President Sisi grants daily title deeds to our Christian churches, while the political and state authorities of our country freely allow us to operate our churches, to maintain them, to renovate and beautify them, in Turkey we see religious and cultural rights being used for other purposes, and, above all, we see history being altered and a new division is engendered for personal interests.
From the seat of St. Mark, we pray that logic will prevail and that God’s peace will reign over the world!”