Religious scholar advises Ukrainians and others how to act when Hagia Sophia in Istanbul becomes a mosque
He believes that this was a complicated process for an Orthodox Cathedral in a country with considerable economic potential and such an impressive percentage of Muslims (almost one hundred percent: at least 99.9), in a country with a strong and authoritarian leader who set the goal of becoming a real leader of the entire Islamic world.
“When the fact and circumstances can no longer be changed, we have nothing but to think about something else: how to act in the new circumstances, when Saint Sophia in Istanbul becomes a mosque, and how to respond to all this?
First, we must take maximum care of the preservation of frescoes and other Christian symbols created in the 6th and subsequent centuries and which were opened to the world when Hagia Sophia acted as a Museum.
Second, and this is the most important and most essential thing, especially for us, Ukrainians, we must do our best to strengthen and reinforce almost the only and at least the most important symbol of Christian presence on the banks of the Bosphorus — the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and personally His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew.
Pressure and discernible physical presence in Constantinople, sincere, internal prayer, as well as systematic and comprehensive ideological support for the See of the Apostle Andrew — this is what we can offer as an answer,” wrote Andriy Yurash.
He wishes Ukrainians the same unity in standing for their national and spiritual ideas:
“And only when we achieve at least half of the unity within our Christian identity (compared with the Muslim one), we will be able to set new and higher goals. For example, once you can hear Christian chants in the Cathedral of Saint Sophia – the Wisdom of God, as before, in the 10th century, they were heard there by the ambassadors of Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv.”