Christians from around the world attended a rare
Liturgy at an ancient monastery in Turkey. The
spiritual leader of the world's 300 million
Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I,
conducted the service at the Sumela monastery in
Trabzon province, north-eastern Turkey. At least
1,500 pilgrims, including people from Greece and
Russia, traveled to the Byzantine-era monastery. The
service was the first Greek Orthodox Liturgy to be
held at the shrine since 1923, after the Turkish
government allowed pilgrims to worship there once a
year in a gesture toward religious minorities, in
line with Turkey's aspiration to join the EU.
Those attending were elated, with one worshipper saying it
was a great moment as they could now pray on the land
where their great-grandfathers had come from. In 1923, the
Turkish authorities had banned religious services at the
monastery, built on the side of a mountain, and turned it
into a museum, after it was abandoned when a population
swap between Turkey and Greece saw most local Orthodox
move to Greece.
16 августа 2010 г.