Statement on Hagia Sophia’s status change
OPPOSITION PLATFORM - FOR LIFE regrets the decision of the Supreme Administrative Court of Turkey to change the status of Hagia Sophia. We believe that the transformation of the cathedral from a museum into a functioning mosque will cause serious damage to interreligious and intercultural dialogue, goes against the international principles of tolerance and coexistence. We share the negative reaction of the international community to this hasty and ill-considered decision.
Hagia Sophia has an important religious, cultural and civilizational meaning for the whole Christian world. The cathedral has a particularly deep symbolism for millions of Ukrainian Christian worshippers, regardless of religion.
The decision of the government of the Republic of Turkey to change the status of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul does not meet the friendly and trusting relations between the peoples of our countries, the climate of partnership and cooperation between the Ukrainian and Turkish states.
OPPOSITION PLATFORM - FOR LIFE stands firmly in defense of traditional Christian values and canonical Orthodoxy. We believe that the Ukrainian authorities and personally President Volodymyr Zelenskyy are obliged to convey the concerns of Ukrainian citizens about the decision to turn St. Sophia into a mosque to the Turkish leadership.
As a partner country of the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine is obliged to inform the Turkish leadership about the riskiness of such political decisions. Official Kyiv has to give convincing arguments from one’s own recent history that testify against state interference in religious affairs and interfaith relations.
OPPOSITION PLATFORM - FOR LIFE demands that Volodymyr Zelenskyy take an active position and discuss with the leadership of the Republic of Turkey plans to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque. If the government wants to maintain the respect of Ukrainian citizens, it must act decisively!