US Archbishop Hopefuls call on UN to hold Turkey accountable for targeted deletion of Orthodox Christian heritage.
This move comes in the wake of a series of decisions that require the conversion of World Heritage Sites, such as Hagia Sophia, in mosques. It is recalled that the Archbishop of America Hopeful had announced an international campaign in July, saying that he will not stop working until the decision on Hagia Sophia is revoked.
The letter from the Archdiocese was sent to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Cultural Rights, minority rights and religious freedoms. In addition, the letter is accompanied by the signatures of non-governmental and inter-religious organizations, academic institutions and experts working to protect cultural property and religious freedom.
Commenting on this initiative, Archbishop Elpidoforos noted: "Turkey's conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is an extreme abuse of the Orthodox cultural heritage and living Christian communities in Turkey.. The management, but also the transformation of the status of UNESCO World Heritage Sites raises the concern of the international community as a whole ".
Hagia Sophia was included 1985 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its museum status was recognized as worthy of preservation under the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.