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Patriarch Bartholomew has canceled service at the monastery Sumela from COVID

Patriarchal divine Liturgy on the day of the assumption on August 15 in the monastery of Panagia Sumela in Trabzon - one of the world's oldest Orthodox monasteries - this year will not take place because of the ban of the Turkish authorities in connection with the pandemic, said the Church of Constantinople.

The monastery is inactive. In 2010, the first in decades in this service was conducted in the assumption of the virgin - one of the great feasts of Orthodoxy. Liturgy conducted by the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew. As reported, the ROC, the first since 1922, the Liturgy in the monastery Panagia Sumela became possible as a result of agreements entered into by the Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate with the Ministry of culture and tourism of the Turkish Republic and the leadership of the Trabzon province. The last five years, worship services are not held there.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the closing ceremony of the second phase of the restoration of the monastery of Panagia Sumela, said that his country protects the cultural heritage of Christianity and for Orthodox citizens is August 15 will be held in Sumela.

"It is hereby declared that because of the continuing pandemic of the novel coronavirus to the competent authorities of Turkey were not allowed to celebrate the divine Liturgy at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Sumela 15 August", - is spoken in the message of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, published after Erdogan's statement.

Sumela - inactive Orthodox monastery of Orthodox Church of Constantinople, built at the end of IV - beginning of V century, is located in the province of Trabzon in North East Turkey. He is one of the oldest in the world and claims for inclusion in the world heritage list of UNESCO.

Meanwhile Bartholomew, who considers himself the leader of all Orthodoxy in the world, is still not expressed its position in connection with the opening of a mosque in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

The Hagia Sophia Church (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 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 subsequently included in the world heritage list of UNESCO.

The Supreme administrative court of Turkey 10 July 2020 annulled the decision of 1934 about turning the Cathedral 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. On July 24 in the Aya Sofia was the first after 1934 Friday prayer.