The head of Turkey’s religious ministry criticised remarks made by Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronymos that were called insulting to Muslims, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Ali Erbas, the President of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, known as Diyanet, called on Ieronymous to oppose what he called a “sick mentality” against Islam.
“The most important duty of the clergy, who should strive for peace and tranquility, should be to contribute to the culture of coexistence,” Erbas said in a statement. “The Christian world must oppose this sick mentality. This kind of discourse aiming to marginalize Muslims feeds the racist perspective against them, and leads to attacks on their lives and places of worship.”
On Saturday, Ieronymous called Islam a political movement instead of a religion on the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence that ended the rule of the Ottoman Empire in 1821. He later clarified his comments as speaking out against Islamic extremists and reiterated his respect for all religions.