“The city that Constantine had protected for more than a thousand years… has now undergone, in this unfortunate year, the destruction by the Turks. I suffer at the thought that the temple of Saint Sophia, famous all over the world, has been destroyed or desecrated. This is a second death for Homer, a second passing for Plato”. These words by the great humanist, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II, werewrittenfive centuries ago, after the great Christian city of Constantinople fell to the Ottomans.
Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoganissuedan unprecedented decree converting Hagia Sophia once again into a mosque. Erdogan’s decree is a gesture of immense symbolism and historic meaning. “A threat against Hagia Sophia,”saidthe Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, “is a threat for the whole of Christian civilization”.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeostated:
“We urge the Government of…
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