Turkey: Ancient Assyrian Church Used to House Horses

February 5, 2022

The desecration of Mor Aday Church in Idil district of Sirnak province demonstrates the same contempt for the Christian history and heritage of Asia Minor that we see in the conversion of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora to mosques, and the conversion of other ancient churches to mosques as well. This 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.

“Ancient Assyrian Church in Turkey Used to House Horses,” International Christian Concern, February 2, 2022:

02/02/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Ethnic minority Christians living in Turkey often face increased persecution when it comes to historical religious places of worship. In a recently reported incident, the Assyrian/Syriac church of Mor Aday is being utilized by local villagers as a stable.

Mor Aday Church, located in Idil district of Sirnak province, is believed to have been built in 620 AD. The place of worship was left to ruin and neglected by the local authorities. Though some walls are still standing, the lack of protection for the historic church means that it is left to be manipulated to serve those that still remain.

The church is located within Tur Abdin, the historic homeland of Assyrians in Turkey. Few Assyrian Christians remain both here and across the country. The Ottoman genocide of Armenians, as well as Greek and Assyrians, decimated the Christian ethnic minorities….

A report put out by the Stockholm Center for Freedom underscored the trends that ICC has observed, namely the increased rights violations, hate speech, and attacks against minorities living in Turkey in 2021. This includes the desecration of historical Christian sites across the country including a Greek orphanage, a Chaldean cave church, and Armenian churches. Treasure hunters and looters help themselves to the unprotected ancient ruins of churches and monasteries.