Patriarch opposes plan to make Hagia Sofia a mosque

The Greek Orthodox Church in Turkey is strongly opposing plans to reconvert Istanbul’s Hagia Sofia basilica into a mosque.

”We want Santa Sofia to remain a museum. It was a Christian church for over 1000 years,” Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has said. ”If it is to be reconsecrated, then it should go back to being a Christian church, since it was not built to be a mosque.”

The basilica, completed in 537, became a mosque in 1453 with the Ottoman conquest and was made a museum in 1935.

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