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Council of Europe Raises Question on Future of Panagia Sumela Orthodox Monastery, Pontus

The issue of intellectual, Byzantine heritage and the future of the Orthodox Panagia Sumela Monastery in historical Pontus, was raised during the last session of the Council of the Europe Parliamentary Assembly.  The meeting was led by Ivan Savvidi, member of the Russian delegation and the State Duma of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Savvidi thanked the President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul for the Divine Liturgy held at the historical Panagia Sumela Monastery in Trabzon.  It was held for the first time in eighty-eight years on August 15, 2010.  He raised the issue of the possibility of subsequent use for religious reasons, important Byzantine churches and monasteries, while reminding the audience of the sad fate of the Halki Theological Seminary.
Abdullah Gul promised the Russian MP to examine the issue of collaboration in the field of cultural and religious dialogue, as mentioned in Ivan Savvidi’s announcement.

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