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Pompeo ‘prays’ Turkey will rethink conversion of Chora church into mosque

Former US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said he hopes that Turkey will revise its decision to convert the Chora church from a museum into a mosque.

“The church in Chora is not just a building, it’s a historic place, it’s a holy place,” Pompeo said during his speech on the 4th International Conference of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Athens on Tuesday. “President Erdogan has preceded with plans that threaten and indeed coerce the people of Turkey into abandoning their faith and its holy places.” 

Pompeo added that the church is listed among the UNESCO world heritage sites and that it holds “unimaginable value.”

“There is no reason that it should be desecrated, I pray that it will not be,” he stated.  

Earlier this month, President Erdogan formally inaugurated the former Byzantine Church of The Saviour in Chora as a mosque, in a move that was condemned by Athens. 

The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are citizens with service to the Church and whose work has “brought honour to the Greek community.”