CTE presidents statement on Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

'The Presidents of Churches Together in England, representing the full breadth of Christian traditions in England, are saddened at the decision of the Turkish Government to change the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

For a long period of time Hagia Sophia has been a unique centre symbolising a co-existence of people of faith. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, as a place where the rich history of Istanbul is told visually, can be a living example of religious tolerance and respect. The decision to alter the status quo in this way is a powerful, symbolic change that is lamentable and painful for many people of faith the world over.'

Signed by

Presidents of Churches Together in England:

Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster
Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, Free Churches Moderator
Archbishop Angaelos of London, Archbishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London and CTE President for the Orthodox Churches
Pastor Agu Irukwu, head of Redeemed Christian Church of God UK and CTE Pentecostal President

Churches Together in England (CTE) is the national ecumenical instrument supporting and encouraging churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity. Nationally, CTE brings together 50 Member Churches from many diverse traditions. In fact, we unite the broadest range of churches in the whole of Europe. CTE's strapline is: One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God's mission, empowered by the Spirit.

Editor's Note: A spokesperson at the Turkish Embassy in London today confirmed that tourists will still be allowed to visit Hagia Sophia and the ancient Christian icons and mosaics dating back to the time when Hagia Sophia was a basilica, will remain there.


CTE: www.cte.org.uk/WhoWeAre

CTE Presidents: www.cte.org.uk/Presidents

Tags: Hagia Sophia, Churches Together in England, CTE, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop Justin Welby, Revd Dr Hugh Osgood, Archbishop Angaelos

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