Keep Hagia Sophia as a Museum
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Dear Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy,
We are highly concerned and deeply disheartened by the recent decision of the Turkish government to turn the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. The cathedral was originally built in the 6th century AD, and served as an Orthodox Church of the Byzantine world for 1,000 years before becoming a mosque under the Ottoman empire. In 1934 it became a secular museum and in 1985 was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Known for its incredible architecture and art it served as an extraordinary welcoming center for people of all faiths.
We implore you to join United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch (R-Idaho) and ranking member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in condemning this decision by Turkish President Erdoğan and strongly urge him to reverse his decision and retain Hagia Sophia’s “status as a religiously neutral museum for peoples of all faiths and cultures to visit and celebrate our common world heritage.”
Thank you in advance for your efforts.
Rev. Father Peter Orfanakos
Maria Diamantis, Parish Council President
Members and friends of the Greek Orthodox Churches of Connecticut.
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