HRH Prince Gharios E Chemor joined In Defense of Christians (IDC), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa, for an Ecumenical Prayer Service with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC on last July 14.
The Ecumenical Prayer Service fell on the one-year anniversary of the reconversion of the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul, Turkey, into a mosque, and solemnly commemorated the event.
Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; (Turkish: Ayasofya, Koinē Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, romanized: Hagía Sophía; Latin: Sancta Sophia, lit. ‘Holy Wisdom‘), a Late Antiqueplace of worship in Istanbul, designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. Built in 537 as the patriarchal cathedral of the imperial capital of Constantinople, it was the largest Christian church of the eastern Roman Empire (the Byzantine Empire) and the Eastern Orthodox Church, except during the Latin Empire from 1204 to 1261, when it became the city’s Latin Catholic cathedral. In 1453, after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque. In 1935, the secular Turkish Republic established it as a museum. In 2020, it controversially re-opened as a mosque.
Various Christian traditions were represented at the Ecumenical Prayer Service including Archbishop Thomas Schirrmacher, the Secretary General of the WEA – World Evangelical Alliance, the second largest Christian organization in the world with 600 million members.
You may watch the ecumenical service below: