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Ecumenical Patriarch Officiates at Soumela Monastery Liturgy

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew led a liturgy at the historic Soumela Monastery in the Black Sea province of Trabzon on Aug. 15.

Erdogan Reopens Turkey’s Soumela Monastery After Restoration

  Soumela Monastery, the Greek Orthodox edifice built in 385 AD which was included on UNESCO's temporary list of World Heritage Sites in 2000, was reopened on Tuesday by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a videoconference ceremony. The Turkish President,...

Archaeologists Express Concerns Over Future of Hagia Sophia of Trabzon

The association of Greek archaeologists sent a letter recently to the Greek and Turkish ministries of culture as well as to the Greek branch of UNESCO regarding the state of the Hagia Sophia monument in Trabzon,Turkey. The archaeologists' letter focuses on...

Historic Sumela Monastery to Finally Reopen in May

The first section of the historic Greek Orthodox Sumela monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, will re-open to the public on May 18, Turkish authorities announced this week. The monastery, a reference point and religious touchstone for all Pontian Greeks,...

A Journey with Symbolism: Bicyclist Connects Panagia Soumela Monasteries in Veria, Trabzon

In a long journey full of religious and cultural symbolism, 34 year-old George Lipiridis recently bicycled from the Panagia Soumela Monastery in the Greek region of Macedonia, to the Panagia Soumela Monastery in present-day Turkey, near the city of...

Priceless Byzantine Mosaic Found under Mosque in Turkey

A 100-square-meter mosaic, which has been preserved in excellent condition, was discovered on the floor of the historic church of Panagia Chrysokefalou, in Ortahisar of Trabzon. The Byzantine church was transformed into a mosque by Muhammad the Conqueror in 1461. The...

Turkish Authorities Ban Christian Liturgy in Panagia Sumela Monastery

Turkish authorities notified the Ecumenical Patriarchate that the license for the yearly mass at Panagia Sumela Monastery in Trabzon is revoked. After five consecutive years during which it was allowed to have Orthodox Christian divine liturgy on August 15 at Panagia Sumela Monastery...

Why Turkey’s Historic Churches Are Being Turned Into Mosques

The Christian churches in Turkey that have been turned into mosques is the subject of an interesting report in the Assyrian International News Agency. As Christians in Turkey have dwindled down into a tiny minority, the remaining follow the same...

Greek Businessman Savvidis Offers to Build Mosque in Return for Hagia Sophia

Greek-Russian businessman Ivan Savvidis has made a generous offer to the Turkish people. The President of the Federal National-cultural Autonomy of Greeks in Russia said he would fund the construction of a mosque in Trabzon and as an exchange...

Ecumenical Patriarch’s Fifth Visit to Sumela Monastery

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Sumela Monastery in Turkey for the fifth consecutive year and officiated the Divine Liturgy held in the historic monastery. Hundreds of worshipers attended the liturgy for the Dormition of Virgin Mary in an atmosphere of piety and...