ROC I regret about Turkey's decision to change the status of Hagia Sophia
The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church regrets the deprivation of Hagia Sophia's Museum status and hopes for the efforts of the Turkish authorities on the preservation of the Christian mosaics in this Church, is told in the statement of the Synod, published on the website of the ROC on Friday.
Session of the Holy Synod was held on 16 and 17 July under the chairmanship of Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia Kirill.
Also in the Russian Orthodox Church urged the Turkish authorities to maintain the Christian mosaics in this Church.
"I hope that the Turkish authorities make the necessary efforts to preserve the priceless miraculously surviving Christian mosaics and will provide access to them Christian pilgrims," - said in a statement.
In addition, the Synod called on the international community to support efforts to preserve the special status of Hagia Sophia.
The state Council, Turkey's highest administrative court – July 10, annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there. In UNESCO, the number of States of the world and in the Russian Orthodox Church, unfortunately, reacted to this decision.
The Cathedral of Sveta Sofia (Hagia Sophia) was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian and inaugurated on 27 December 537. The Cathedral is about a thousand years was the largest Christian Church in the world. After the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans and the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, the Cathedral was converted into a mosque but since 1934 the building by decree of the founder of the modern Turkish state Kemal Ataturk became a Museum and was included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.