20 June 2007

Free Aghia Sophia

Αγία Σοφία
This remarkable report comes from Greek News:

Athens - A nascent international initiative to restore the Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul as a place of worship for all the world's Christians was outlined here on Thursday by veteran Greek-American political leader Chris Spirou, less than a week before a public hearing is scheduled on the religious monument's condition at the US Congress.

Spirou, a noted New Hampshire Democratic leader and long-time activist for Greek national issues in the United States, said the organisation he heads up (Free Agia Sophia Council of America) will present evidence showing the "violation" of Eastern Orthodoxy's most renowned basilica over the past 554 years. . . .

The hearing, to be held by the joint Congressional Human Rights Caucus (CHRC), marks the first time that Congress will hear testimony on the situation concerning Hagia Sophia.

What are the chances of Turkey taking action on this issue? Slightly worse, I would judge, than the chances of the proverbial snowball in the infernal regions. Spirou's efforts might be put to better use if he were to focus instead on persuading Ankara to permit the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Theological School of Halki, the success of which is considerably more likely.

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