21 June, 2007
Council of America for the Liberation of Aghia Sophia Church, in Istanbul, President Chris Spyrou called for an end to the "continuing desecration of Aghia Sophia, the Holy Temple of Christianity", during testimony before the Chairman of the Joint Human Rights Committee of the American Congress, Tom Lantos.
Spirou presented evidence which, as he said, "substantiate beyond any doubt that Agia Sophia, the Mother Church of Christianity, the Cathedral of the Orthodox Christian Faith and the most majestic church ever to be built, is being desecrated continuously for 554 years." He also denounced continuous violations at Agia Sophia that have "turned the most sacred place of the Christians into an international market that constitutes a tourist attraction of the Turkish state."
Lantos, who is also the chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed understanding for every case of human rights violation and noted that "out of all the violations with which the Committee is preoccupied few have greater importance than those concerning religious freedoms."
In this context, Spirou called on American legislators to carefully read the chapter contained in the recent report by the U.S. Committee on religious freedoms that refers to Turkey.
"The time has come for the leaders of the country in which Agia Sophia is located to realise the logic of our claims and to assist us in the restoration of Aghia Sophia as a Church of the Christian Faith and for which it was built," he said.
Source: Athens News Agency