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06/01/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – New reports indicate vandalism and neglect at the historic Hagia Sophia. It is suggested that the building faces daily vandalism, including written messages and names and removing small pieces of the wall. The now-mosque also faces neglect in the form of trash lying around and layers of dust.

Turkish authorities commented that the current state of Hagia Sophia is caused by “normal wear” in response to the first widely reported vandalization of the gate. They also attempted to deflect blame by suggesting that some of the women shown in a video to be taking home small pieces of the Hagia Sophia wall were Christian tourists.

The Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. It was later converted into a mosque, then into a museum. In 2020, a presidential order converted Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. Nikos Dendias, Greece’s Foreign Minister, recently commented on the conversion, saying it “saddens every person who respects history.” In response, Turkey has accused Greece of hypocrisy and hindering peace between the two nations.

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