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Turkey: Religious Services Won’t be Held at St. Sofia

Approximately 250 members of the international St. Sofia coalition will arrive in Istanbul on Friday.  The trip’s purpose is to make Christian religious rites one of the main attractions in the city, i.e. the St. Sofia mosque.
Turkish Culture Minister said that religious service would not be conducted in St. Sofya or Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul.
This was a direct reply to questions on efforts of Chris Spirou who established the NGO “International Congregation of Agia Sophia” in Washington, D.C.   Spriou called for religious service to be conducted in Aya Sofya.  Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said that Aya Sofya would not host any religious service.
“Aya Sofya is one of the special places in the world. It has been serving humanity for 1,500 years. In the last century, we have been serving Aya Sofya,” he said.
Gunay said they would not allow religious ceremony to be conducted there.
“If we allow it, we will have to meet demands of other communities and religions,” he said.
Chris Spirou sent a letter to the Religious Affairs Directorate.  However the Ministry of Culture and Tourism was responsible for museums in Turkey Gunay added.

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