File photo: O Αρχιεπίσκοπος Αμερικής Ελπιδοφόρος. Photo via amna_news (ANA-MPA)
Bells will toll mournfully at all churches of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America on July 24, the day on which the first official Islamic prayer service has been scheduled at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, following Turkey’s decision to convert the iconic former Christian basilica from a museum into a mosque. On the same day, all flags on the Archdiocese’s churches will fly at half-mast.
The declaration of a day of “mourning and intense grief” was decided by the Archdiocese’s Holy Synod, in a video conference call on Thursday chaired by Archbishop of America Elpidophoros.
In an announcement, the Holy Synod called Turkey’s decision the start of a “programme of cultural and spiritual misappropriation and a violation of all models for harmonious coexistence and mutual respect,” and stressed that they will never stop pursuing their righteous demands for Hagia Sophia.
They also called on churches to perform the same liturgy on the evening of July 24 as on the Friday of the fifth week of Lent.
Source: ANA – MPA