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(RNS) Recent conversions of former Byzantine-era churches from museums into mosques, encouraged by religious and political leaders, have caused alarm among religious minorities and Turkey's Christian neighbors.


  1. It really is time to boot Turkey out of NATO. It is nothing more than another ignorant, Muslim theocracy with mere trappings of democracy. The European Union has been wise to block the membership of this pariah state.

  2. Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster, PhD

    Although I appreciate the attention of RNS to the plight of Hagia Sophia, Mr. Resneck’s article neglects to mention that this venerable “Christian church” was, in fact, an Orthodox Christian church from its inception in the 6th century AD. It may seem a minor point to some, but Orthodox Christians are often sensitive about our legacy of religious oppression under the Ottoman Turks. Exhibit A today is the same Church of the Holy Wisdom (“Hagia Sophia”), stolen from the Byzantine Orthodox Christians, transformed into a mosque, and then transformed yet again into a museum. The edifice belongs, by natural right, to the direct descendants of those who constructed it in the first place–namely the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, first among equals of the Orthodox Churches in the world.

    • Yea because they didnt steal the land and kill millions. Are you joking 4.5 million died at the hands of ottoman. And they continue the abuse and neglecting it ever happen matt. How do the jews get all this money for their genocide but greeks and armenians get nothing. Moron

  3. First of all be carefull while using roman and Greek. It was not roman, it was and is Greek. Byzantium era with Konstantinos is the last thing we have from those times before the Ottoman Empire screwed up everything. It will be a complete blasphemy to turn our monument to a mosque. Unbelievable. It is not only matter of religion, but also matter of respect , something that Turkish people keep on lacking for centuries now but karma is a nasty power !

    • You need to re-check your history. The current Gagua Sophia is the third church to go by that name on that site. The first such church was contracted in the early portion of the firth century by Emperor Constantine. Following the battle of the Melvin Bridge, he sought to create new capitol for the east, and choose the then-small fishing village of Byzantium (hence the Byzantine Empire). He renamed the city Constantinople (literally “city of Constantine”)

      The first of those churches was small, and destroyed by a earthquake. the second was decoyed early on in the Reign of Emperor Justinian during a revolt. This church has seen some damage over the reaches, but has been repaired. It was the tallest church for over a thousand years, until saint Peter’s in Rome was built.

      It is Roman, as it was apart of the Roman Empire before from when it was still a Republic until the day the city fell to the Ottoman Turks on April 29, 1453. So yes, it is Roman & Greek.