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In the ROC hope on the common position of Orthodox churches in Hagia Sophia

Local churches must speak with one voice on the issue of changing the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which turned from a Museum into a mosque, said the employee of the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, deacon Feodor Shulga at the press conference of the project "Religion and ideology" in MIA "Russia today".

Hagia Sophia (Hagia Sophia) was founded by the Christian Emperor Justinian and inaugurated in 537 year. 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. In mid-July, the state Council of Turkey annulled the decision of 1934, the mosque started again services. In UNESCO, the number of States of the world and in the Russian Orthodox and many Orthodox churches around the world with regret about this decision. Russian authorities announced the decision at the Hagia Sophia a domestic affair of Turkey.

"Distressing lack of unity in the Orthodox world, which has been violated by the actions of Constantinople in Ukraine. Now, when we need to respond to major new challenges that were not in previous years, it seems to me that the Orthodox Church should act in solidarity, which is not observed. The first thing that local churches must decide now – the restoration of this unity, and therefore have to work together to solve the issue the General reaction of the local Orthodox churches on the situation of Hagia Sophia," - said Shulga.

He noted that the decision to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque contributes neither to religious understanding, nor the understanding of the countries in Europe.

"Since the decision of Ataturk (the transformation of Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a Museum – ed.) it was a symbol of peaceful coexistence (representatives – ed.), religions, primarily Islam and Christianity. The fact that this paradigm is changing now, cannot but worry the Christian world" - summed up the representative of the Russian Church.