×
× Digital News Videos Opinion Special Reports Lifestyle Weird News Health & Science Education Columns The Hague Trial Kenya @ 50 Comand Your Morning E-Paper Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman Travelog TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS
×

Pope 'very pained' by decision to turn Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum into mosque

By Reuters | July 12th 2020 at 03:00:00 GMT +0300

Pope Francis celebrates the Mass of Saint Peter and Paul, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican. [AFP]

Pope Francis said on Sunday he was hurt by Turkey's decision to make Istanbul's Hagia Sophia museum a mosque, the latest religious leader to condemn the move.

"My thoughts go to Istanbul. I think of Santa Sophia and I am very pained," he said during his weekly blessing in St. Peter's Square.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the first prayers would be held in Hagia Sophia on July 24, after declaring the ancient monument was once again a mosque following a court ruling revoking its status as a museum.

The World Council of Churches has called on Erdogan to reverse his decision and Patriarch Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, called it disappointing.

Erdogan said the nearly 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia, which was once a Christian cathedral, would remain open to Muslims, Christians and foreigners.

He added that Turkey had exercised its sovereign right in converting it to a mosque and would interpret criticism of the move as an attack on its independence.

Greece has condemned the move and UNESCO said its World Heritage Committee would review Hagia Sophia's status and that Turkey's decision raised questions about the impact on its universal value as a site of importance transcending borders and generations.


Pope Francis Hagia Sophia museum Tayyip Erdogan
Share this story

Read More

Feedback