People gather outside  Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to celebrate after a top Turkish court revoked its status as a museum, clearing the way for it to be turned back into a mosque. Photograph:  Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, one of the world’s greatest examples of Byzantine Christian architecture,(...)

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) stands together with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (C) and Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church (R). Photograph: Ozan Kose/AFP

The spiritual head of Orthodox Christians worldwide formally granted independence to the Ukrainian church on Saturday, marking an historic split from (...)

Pope Francis meets refugees at the Moria refugee camp, on the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/Pool Photo via AP

Pope Francis returned from a visit to the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday, taking 12 Syrian refugees with him as a “gesture of welcome” amidst wha(...)

Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I embrace after signing a joint statement at the Church of St George, the principal Greek Orthodox cathedral, in Istanbul. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/Epa

Pope Francis condemned “Islamophobia” while at the same time calling on intellectuals, politicians and religious leaders to denounce all fundamentalis(...)

 Pope Francis has begun a visit to Turkey with the delicate mission of strengthening ties with Muslim leaders. Photograph: Osman Orsal/Reuters

Imam Ishak Kizilaslan of Istanbul’s celebrated Blue Mosque has said he hopes the city’s controversial museum, the Aya Sofya, will one day be restored (...)

Pope Francis waves at the end of a special audience for Carabinieri paramilitary police in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican today. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters

President Shimon Peres of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine will visit Pope Francis at the Vatican next Sunday to pray for peace in the (...)

Forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad engage in an operation to push rebels from the road between the al-Safira area and  Aleppo International Airport yesterday. Photograph: George Ourfalian

Concern mounted yesterday over two kidnapped bishops from Aleppo after reports of their release were contradicted. Bishop Boulos Yazgi o(...)