(RUSSIA TODAY) The historic Byzantine Chora church is returning to its role as a functioning mosque, having served as a museum for seven decades. Last month a similar reconversion was completed with Hagia Sophia, triggering backlash from Greece.
On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered to transfer a historic church in Istanbul into the care of the Religious Affairs Directorate and opening its doors to Muslim worshipers. A similar reconversion happened a month ago, when Hagia Sophia, which also had originated as an Orthodox house of prayer, was turned from a museum into a mosque.
The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora traces its history back to a fourth century monastery complex just outside of the wall of Constantinople, which was incorporated into the city as it expanded. The walls of the current building have survived since a major reconstruction in the 11th century. The interior features gorgeous Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, which were created sometime between 1315 and 1321 and depict scenes from the New Testament.
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