In Montenegro the priest brought the case after the prayer service for St. Sophia

Montenegrin police filed a criminal case against the priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in Podgorica for the violation of measures against coronavirus after a Liturgy in connection with the conversion of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul from a Museum into a mosque, said the interior Ministry.

In Serbia and Montenegro, which, with varying success fought the Ottoman rule in the Balkans from the XIV to the XX century, the news about the change of status and the first since 1934 the Friday prayer in the Hagia Sophia caused a resonance. Patriarch Irinej of Serbia on July 13 called on the Turkish authorities to leave the object as a Museum with the possibility of both Christian and Islamic religious services.

In the temples of Montenegro on Friday passed the Liturgy and the Church bells were ringing due to the change in the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Metropolitan Amphilochius led the service in the Cathedral of the resurrection of Christ in Podgorica and called the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a mosque "madness". Montenegrin police during the Liturgy were filming in the temple, and then handed to the parish priest Branko Vujacic the agenda and declared that against it criminal case is brought.

Earlier criminal cases under the same article were filed against the Metropolitan of Montenegro and Primorsky Amphylokhios, Bishop Budimljansko-Niksicko of Ioanniky and a dozen clerics of SPC in Montenegro. Step of the authorities in relation to the Archpriest of the metropolis was called "the continuation of violence against the Church."

The Supreme administrative court of Turkey on 10 July annulled the decision of 1934 the transformation of Hagia Sophia into a Museum. Immediately after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he had signed a decree about the transformation of the Cathedral into a mosque and the beginning of Muslim worship there. Hagia Sophia - the Hagia Sophia was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I Christian and opened on 27 December 537. The Cathedral is about a thousand years was the largest Church in the Christian 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.

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