Archbishop Chrysostomos the 2nd said Tuesday that he is determined to gothrough with restoring the historic Greek Orthodox churches in the occupied areas of Cyprus, despite any dangers he might face from Turkish occupying forces.
150 historic churches are in danger of collapsing and the Archbishop has the plans ready for restorations that will cost half a billion Euros.
Many more historic churches have been totally destroyed by the invaders who so far have rejected any effort by the Church of Cyprus to save them.
Archbishop Chrysostomos is very disappointed with the international community as well for not assisting in his efforts to pressure Turkey to respect Christian Churches in the occupied areas saying, that “wherever we went we talked to deaf ears.”
Some churches have been used by the Turkish army as military camps, some are been used as storerooms and some are used as night clubs.
The 19th century St. Anastasia church in Lapithos is used as a hotel and casino with a swiming pool.
The precious frescoes were removed and destroyed, some of them were sold to museums abroad. The church of Cyprus has managed to buy some of them back.
The Turkish Cypriot Newspaper Kipris had a two page report a few days ago about the tragic situation of the monastery of St Andrew the Apostle (First buildings dated back to the first century ad), urging all sides to stop arguing and start restoring it.
Efforts by Greek and Turkish Cypriots, the UN and USAID were succesfull in saving and restoring some historic Greek and Armenian Orthodox churches, but there is still a long way to go in the effort to preserve monuments of the rich cultural heritage of the island.
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