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Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios:
'We call upon our president to speak for peace.'

New York, August 2, 2006  The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, expressing "profound grief" at the loss of life and destruction in Lebanon and Israel, has called upon President Bush "to speak for peace, and to support dialogue and diplomacy as the appropriate solution to conflicts."

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios also called upon "all Greek Orthodox Christians in America to join us in prayer to the merciful God as we begin the fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos, on August 1. Let us all call upon the most-holy Mother of God to intercede for our suffering brothers and sisters throughout the Middle East."

"These are terrible times," the Archbishop said, "times we never thought we would see again. These are times of mourning, mourning for the hundreds who have already perished and the thousands who have been injured, or are homeless and living as refugees."

These are also times "for praying, praying to the almighty God that the violence will stop and that peace, justice, tranquility and prosperity will prevail for all the inhabitants of the Middle East, and especially in Israel and Lebanon, where the latest cycle of violence, war, and bloodshed has erupted," Demetrios said.

The archbishop, one of many worldwide religious leaders who have raised their voices against the latest conflict in the Middle East, expressed, grief "
for all who have died and their mourning families and communities, for all who have lost their homes and their livelihood, and for the vast destruction of the land involved in the war."

The Archbishop called " upon our government and the United Nations to intercede and to initiate strong diplomatic efforts to envision, formulate, and enforce an immediate ceasefire and a  just and lasting peace, since we painfully see that the bombing and destruction continues unabated."

The full text of the Archbishop's statement:

These are terrible times, times we never thought we would see again.  These are times of mourning, mourning for the hundreds who have already perished and the thousands who have been injured, or are homeless and living as refugees.  These are times also for praying, praying to the almighty God that the violence will stop and that peace, justice, tranquility and prosperity will prevail for all the inhabitants of the Middle East, and especially in Israel and Lebanon, where the latest cycle of violence, war, and bloodshed has erupted.  

The present hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel have brought destruction and loss of life to both Lebanon and Israel.  These are brought to our attention daily by the mass media.  We are not and cannot be indifferent to the suffering of the inhabitants of Lebanon and Israel, Muslims, Christians and Jews.

We express our profound grief for all who have died and their mourning families and communities, for all who have lost their homes and their livelihood, and for the vast destruction of the land involved in the war.

We call upon our government and the United Nations to intercede and to initiate strong diplomatic efforts to envision, formulate, and enforce an immediate ceasefire and a  just and lasting peace, since we painfully see that the bombing and destruction continues unabated.  We call upon our President to speak for peace, and to support dialogue and diplomacy as the appropriate solution to conflicts.

We call upon all Greek Orthodox Christians in America to join us in prayer to the merciful God as we begin the fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos, on August 1.  Let us all call upon the most-holy Mother of God to intercede for our suffering brothers and sisters throughout the Middle East.  

Recognizing the humanitarian crisis resulting from the violence, we appeal to all our faithful to open their hearts and to offer whatever possible to their parishes for transmission to International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance on our behalf directly to the vulnerable and suffering people and communities.  

With fervent prayers to the merciful and almighty God,


+DEMETRIOS
Archbishop of America                
       
For more information, browse the Greek Orthodox Church in America Web page.


 

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