Patriarch of Belgrade and All Serbia
June 16, 2016
We are Greek Orthodox Christians writing to you to bring to the attention of the Serbian Orthodox Church and its faithful
the violation of the sanctity of the Hagia Sophia Church-Museum of Constantinople. Since June 6 (Gregorian Calendar)
Muslim prayers have been recited on a daily basis in the Great Church, a situation that has raised our concerns that
Hagia Sophia may eventually become a Mosque thus leading to the destruction or plastering over of the iconography of
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Most Holy Theotokos, and the Saints.
Painfully we note that the Hagia Sophia was named after the Lord himself which causes us further anguish and distress.
We wish to inform the most Holy Church of Serbia and its faithful that we have established an online petition to collect
signatures in order to protect the Most Holy Hagia Sophia. Hagia Sophia was built under the auspices of Saint Justinian
and is not a mere museum as the secular world believes. Hagia Sophia’s origins emanate from the Holy Gospel and
the theology and dogmas of our holy Orthodox Church.
As such, we seek to make our brothers and sister Orthodox Christians of Serbia aware of what is taking place in Hagia
Sophia and to make known that any signatures added to our petition would be most helpful in our endeavor. Although
Hagia Sophia is a museum, it’s iconography and Christian origins continue to enable the Church to bear witness to the
Christian faith to all those who visit the Great Church.
International Hellenic Association (USA)