Erdogan converts another historic church into a mosque

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reconverted another historic Byzantine church into a mosque on Friday just weeks after opening the iconic Hagia Sophia to Muslim worship.

The 4th century Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora was built near ancient Constantinople as part of a monastery. The church’s current form dates to the 11th century and it contains some of the oldest surviving Byzantine Christian frescoes and mosaics. The church was converted into a mosque in 1453, until the secular Turkish government declared the church a public building in 1945.

Like the Hagia Sophia, it has operated as a museum until this year.

Erdogan on Friday signed an edict declaring the UNESCO World Heritage site be reconverted into a mosque and open for Muslim prayer.

The move sparked international criticism and concerns that Erdogan is attempting to erase Christian history with political Islam.

“It is a fact that we were hurt by the conversion of Hagia Sophia and Chora Church into mosques,” said His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew from the Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni in Cyzicus, Orthodoxia reported.

“These two unique monuments of Constantinople were built as Christian churches. They express the universal spirit of our faith as well as the love and hope of eternity. The unique mosaics and the icons are ‘nourishment for the soul and a remarkable sight for the eyes,’ as the Greek writer and painter, Fotis Kontoglou would say. They are part of the world cultural heritage,” Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew added.

“We pray to the God of love, justice, and peace to enlighten the minds and hearts of those in charge.

It is unclear when exactly Muslim worship will begin at Chora or what will happen to the valuable Christian art there.

Erdogan led Muslim prayers in the now reconverted Hagia Sophia several weeks ago. Christian artwork in the Hagia Sophia was covered with drapes, Reuters reports.


  1. Christine Holliday

    As a lover of art, nature, everything where God’s awesomeness is revealed , old buildings , espesially beautiful old church buildings, it does fill me with sadness to see what is happening to church buildings all over the world. But we do have to remember that we as reborn children if the Most High God, through the Grace of JESUS who died on the cross for us, we are each and everyone a walking church. We have to go out and be the church that we are meant to be. We have to be the church of He Sus Christ every day , not only once a week in a building, but every day, everywhere. This on earth is only temporary, we have to keep looking up and have to expect God’s holy city to come down for us as promised in the book of Revelation.
    AMEN and AMEN
    Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai
    Blessed is He who come in the name of God.

  2. Christine Holliday

    To correct typing error