Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

On July 10, 2020, Turkey’s Council of State annulled the Turkish Cabinet’s 1934 decision to establish Hagia Sophia as a museum. That same day Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an subsequently ordered the reclassification of Hagia Sophia as a mosque rather than a museum.

Hagia Sophia is part of the Historic Areas of Istanbul and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has noted her deep regret of the decision and has called for the universal value of World Heritage to be preserved.

Already on 30 June 2020, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholemew, of the Eastern Orthodox Church, had stressed that as a museum Hagia Sophia can signify meeting, dialogue, and peaceful coexistence of peoples and cultures as well as mutual understanding between Christianity and Islam, especially necessary in the modern world.

File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Peace and Disarmament
Tags: Hagia Sophia, interfaith relations, peace and disarmament, peaceful dialogue
Author: General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches (Peter Noteboom), President of The Canadian Council of Churches (Stephen Kendall)