Church bells tolls in mourning,

With prayers, flags in half-mast and church bells tolls in mourning, Greeks react to the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. As the Muslim prayer slowly starts in Istanbul Friday noon, clerics and common people gather in churches across Greece to pray on this day of mourning that has deeply hurt the Greek Orthodoxy.

Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos called the conversion of the cradle of the Greek Orthodoxy as “an unholy act of sacrilege.”

Describing the 24. July a “day of mourning” for the Greek Orthodoxy and the Greeks across the world, Ieroymos called on people to attend the customary Good Friday liturgy and hymns at the Athens Cathedral at 8:00 p.m. on Friday.

He invited everyone to join in the prayers and chant the Akathistos Ymnos for aid and support to the nation.

Archbishop Ieroymos was obviously disappointed of the reaction by the international community that was rather lukewarm.

“I am deeply grieved that the powerful of this world, at least the majority of them, are hiding behind their finger, or rather behind their own geopolitical and geostrategic designs,” the Archbishop told state-run news agency amna.

Government spokesman called the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque a “genuine shock to Christians around the world.”