After Hagia Sophia, Türkiye converts second former Byzantine church into a mosque

(David I. Klein. Religión News).

Hundreds of worshippers filled the narrow streets of Istanbul’s Fatih district on Friday to hear the sounds of Friday prayers ringing out from the newly inaugurated Kariye Mosque. 

Once known as the Chora Church, the site spent the last 79 years as a museum. But it is now the latest structure to be converted back into a mosque by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, following the conversion of Hagia Sophia in 2020. While viewed as a triumph by many Turkish Muslims, the Greek Orthodox Church has decried it as an “ill-advised decision” that “makes a mockery of the Turkish government’s commitment to religious tolerance and religious freedom.”

Chora’s conversion was announced shortly after Hagia Sophia’s, but its opening for prayer was delayed by years of restoration work. 

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