Re­stored monastery re­opens a cen­tury later

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - National -

MOR Aho, a his­toric Assyr­iac monastery in Ger­cüş, a district in the eastern prov­ince of Bat­man, re­opened yes­ter­day af­ter it was re­stored with state aid some 100 years af­ter it was closed as Chris­tians in the area left.

The gover­nor ac­com­pa­nied the Assyr­iac clergy, lo­cals and mem­bers of the Assyr­iac com­mu­nity liv­ing in Europe for the open­ing cer­e­mony of the sixth cen­tury monastery re­stored over the past three years. Gover­nor Ah­met Deniz told re­porters that Tur­key re­spects free­dom of wor­ship for cit­i­zens of dif­fer­ent faiths and the world needs to em­brace ad­mi­ra­tion be­tween dif­fer­ent faiths seen in Ana­to­lia.

Samuel Ak­taş, the Assyr­iac Arch­bishop of Mor Gabriel, an­other monastery in the re­gion, was among those at­tend­ing the re­open­ing cer­e­mony and he prayed for the gov­ern­ment for “help­ing the repa­ra­tion of the monastery.” Lo­cals ex­pressed thanks to Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mehmet Şimşek, who is a na­tive of Bat­man, for his ef­forts in the restora­tion of Mor Aho.

Through the restora­tion of the monastery, which was largely re­built from its ru­ins, lo­cals hope to bring back the Assyr­iac com­mu­nity who left the district years ago.

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