«This decision belongs to the tragic actions»
In connection with the decision of the Republic of Turkey to return the Church of the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) into a mosque, Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres, and All Albania declares:
“This decision belongs to the tragic actions which undermine the greatest hope of our epoch, the peaceful coexistence of religions and cultures.
This decision returns us back to the darkest convolutions of history. It creates a general puzzlement and indignation, not only among Christians, but also among moderate Muslims. It hearkens to a shadow of cultural jihad.
A country like Turkey, which desires to be on the vanguard, chooses the role of an arresting cultural rearguard.
Many times I have emphasized that for the oil of religion to be used to ignite and serve nationalist goals is a sin and tragic mistake. The noble goal of religions is to soothe the wounds and pacify the souls of humankind”.