November 21, 2019 - 11:44 AMT
Turkey approves conversion of historic church into mosque

The Turkish Council of State has approved the conversion of a historic Greek Orthodox Church into a place of Islamic worship, Faithwire reports.

The Byzantine-era Chora Church was originally built in the early 4th century as a monastery complex outside the walls of Constantinople. It was later converted to a mosque after the Ottoman invasion of Istanbul.

In 1945, the church was restored and preserved as the Kariye Museum. Despite its conversion back to a symbol of Christianity, a lawsuit was later filed by the Association of Permanent Foundations and Service to Historical Artifacts and Environment claiming that the building was a mosque and thus belonged to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Foundation.

The recent decision by the Council of State backs this belief and clears the way for the building to be converted into a functioning mosque, according to International Christian Concern.

In March of this year, Turkish President Recep Erdogan declared that the iconic Hagia Sophia cathedral, which is also being preserved as a museum, transformed into a place of Islamic worship.