His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on the concerns of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese over the seizure and re-conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Following the meeting His Eminence stated: “I am grateful to have met with President Trump and Vice President Pence in the White House and communicated our grave dismay at the re-conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, as well as ongoing security concerns for the Ecumenical Patriarchate and issues of religious liberty. In view of tomorrow’s day of mourning, we persevere in prayer but also bring our struggle to the highest levels of government for action and consideration.”
On his part, Mike Pence tweeted: "As I told Archbishop @Elpidophoros today, America will stand firm with the Greek Orthodox Church in the call for Hagia Sophia to remain accessible as a source of inspiration and reflection for every person of every faith."
Protecting Religious Freedom at home and abroad is a foreign policy priority for the United States of America. We cherish the faith and charitable works of the 1.5 million members of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) July 23, 2020