Greek – Americans to Conduct Liturgy at Agia Sophia on September 17,...

Greek – Americans to Conduct Liturgy at Agia Sophia on September 17, 2010

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By Kleo Mavridis
Members of the “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” will make a pilgrimage to Agia Sofia in Istanbul in order to conduct the Divine Liturgy on September 17.

During a press conference, the President of the International Congregation, Chris Spirou, said that the Prime Minister of Turkey, Tayyip Erdoğan, has already been informed in writing.

“The purpose of our Congregation’s visit is to conduct Holy Liturgy Services in the the Great Church of Christianity, the Symbol of the Orthodox Christian Faith”, was written in the letter. After he was asked, whether the Greek Department of Foreign Affairs has been notified about this, Mr. Spirou said that it isn’t a political issue and that “no government has the right to interfere with religion and to appoint religious leaders”.

The “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” was founded in 2005 and is a USA-based non-profit organization. Its purpose is to restore the Agia Sophia as a place of worship. The organisation’s thousands of members worldwide include followers of other religions and denominations.

  • dimitri paizis

    if the americans can get this right i'll be there! interesting however that the turkish PM has been informed about but not requested to sanction such a groundbreaking event.

  • JCF

    I'll believe this when it actually happens.

  • Vladimir Fekula

    I wish you God's speed, but am very skeptical the service if it takes place will be properly performed with the permission of the Turkish authorities. If this occurs, I will happily convert from Russian Orthodoxy to the Byzantine Church under the the Ecunemical Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Vladimir Fekula

  • Theodoros

    This is a hoax. The center of Orthodox worship is the Eucharist.

    Who is the priest or Bishop who will officiate at this service?

    Hagia Sophia in its glory days could fit 23,000 worshippers. Old

    Greek folk songs indicate that as many as 63 priests could hold

    services in there.

    What liturgy is going to be held? The Greek Orthodox population is

    nearly decimated. There are fewer than 2,000 left.

    Where is any statement asserting that Turkey has given permission

    for such a service?

    In the past, Turkish extremists have engaged in violence upon any

    rumors that Hagia Sofia would be used for Christian services.

    If there were any truth to this so called "liturgy" there would be

    riots taking place in Turkey over the event.

    This liturgy is taking place only in the fantasies of this group.

    Theodoros

  • Ryan

    Vladimir- Why would you "convert"? You are already Orthodox and therefore you belong to the same Church as Patriarch Bartholomew.

    As for this liturgy, I wish them success and pray for God's help, but I don't see them getting past the ticket line.