The decision of the Turkish authorities to turn the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into a mosque violates religious liberty and is unacceptable, said the head of the Synodal Department for external Church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Metropolitan Hilarion. Since 1934, the Cathedral has the status of a Museum.Hagia Sophia was built in 537 and remained the main Christian temple of the Byzantine Empire until mid-fifteenth century. In 1453 Constantinople was conquered by the Turks, the temple was converted into a mosque. In 1934 the government of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal atatürk made a monument of architecture of the Museum.”It is impossible now to go back to Medieval times. We live in a multipolar world, we live in a multicultural world and need to respect the feelings of believers”,— said Metropolitan Hilarion, the TV channel “Russia 24” (quoted by “Interfax”).The representative of the Russian Orthodox Church also stressed the political background of the initiative of Ankara. “We understand that this is due to the political situation in Turkey that the Turkish President in this case takes the side of those calling for the transformation of the Church into a mosque, but we believe that this act in the present conditions, is an unacceptable violation of freedom of religion,” he said.The initiative to return the Cathedral to the status of the mosque by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan in early June. The decision should be taken by the Turkish Council of State, has repeatedly deflected such suggestions. The initiative of Ankara strongly criticized in Moscow and Athens.Read in the material “Kommersant” “the Hagia Sophia is prepared to re-conquest”.