Patriarch Bartholomew thanks for freedom of faith in Turkey
The Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew led the Mass at Sumela Monastery in Macka district of Trabzon province in Turkey. Organized after 88 year's break for the fourth time, around 350 people from different countries such as Russia, Georgia, Greece, Australia and Ukraine attended the ceremony which was held in honor of the Assumption of Mary. Thanking the Turkish Government for its sensitiveness on the freedom of faith, Bartholomew said: "We are grateful to our government and people. They have allowed us to hold Mass in our historical religious places for four years." Mentioning the recent initiatives of UNESCO regarding Sumela, Bartholomew said that they believe that these efforts will contribute to the promotion of the Black Sea region and will be to the interest of the locals. Hymns were sung after the speech and bread and wine blessed by Bartholomew offered to the participants at the end of the ceremony.