Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, recently wrote: “On July 9, 2019, the Turkish Twitter site Turkey.Home, which invites people to ‘Discover Turkey,’ tweeted: ‘2019 is the “Year of Göbeklitepe,” the spot of the world’s first religious complex that changed history of humanity forever.’ The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, deplores this hypocrisy: Turkey has been responsible for the destruction of thousands of Orthodox Christian religious complexes, and is therefore the last country that should be celebrating archaeological sites of ancient religious installations….The Order calls upon the Turkish government to be consistent and show its pride in its religious heritage not just at Göbeklitepe, but by recognizing its rich Orthodox Christian history, easing its restrictions on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, reopening the Halki Seminary, and providing redress to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and to the Christians whose roots are in Asia Minor for the tens of thousands of Christian sites through Turkey that successive Turkish governments destroyed and obliterated.”
The continued vandalism of the St. Theodoros Trion Church is a prime example of how Turkey continuously shows disrespect for its Christian heritage.
“Vandals Target Church in Turkey,” International Christian Concern, August 9, 2019:
08/09/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – St. Theodoros Trion Church in central Turkey was targeted yet again by vandals. The church is Greek Orthodox.
The vandals sprayed hate speech across the church’s walls. The vandalism was largely a reference to the secularism that Ataturk, modern Turkey’s founder, had forced into the governmental structure. A famous slogan of Ataturk, “freedom or death”, dominated the vandalism. Just a few years ago, the same church was targeted by Islamist vandals who wrote slogans such as “the priest is gone, he went to the mosque” — a reference to the country’s genocide and the forced conversions which occurred during this time.
There are no Christians attending this church. All of the congregants were victims of the genocide. They faced death, deportation, and forced conversions. Those few who survived have since fled the country. The church currently stands as a historic monument to the Christianity that once was commonplace in the region….