Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Patriarch Bartholomew Sends Letter Of Protest To Turkey Over Insult Of Orthodox Monastery - UrduPoint

Panagia Sumela Monastery

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has sent a letter to Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, protesting the desecration of the Panagia Sumela Monastery, the Ecumenal Patriarchate said on Tuesday.

On Saturday, videos emerged on social media showing people dancing disco with a DJ at the Panagia Sumela Monastery in the Turkish province of Trabzon. The local authorities purportedly greenlighted the use of the monastery as a dance floor to attract tourists.

"It is well known that the ancient Sumela Monastery functions as a museum nowadays, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for its proper functioning and protection from all points of view," the Ecumenal Patriarchate said.

The patriarchate recalled that Bartholomew I sent a similar letter to the Turkish culture minister several years ago when Hagia Sophia was desecrated in Istanbul and he replied with a promise to prevent any unacceptable behaviors of kind in the future.

The Russian Orthodox Church Church has also protested the desecration of Sumela and other Orthodox churches and monasteries in Turkey. The head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion, condemned the "cynical trampling of the Christian shrine."

The Panagia Sumela Monastery is located 30 miles away from the city of Trabzon. The monastery is one of the oldest in the world, since it was built at the end of the fourth century, and has a chance of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is of special significance to Pontic Greeks. The monastery closed down for restoration works in 2016 and reopened in July 2021.

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