Message of H.B. Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos to the IEPC

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The notion of peace, according to the Holy Gospel and the Patristic Tradition of the Church, neither is identified with the absence of war nor is exhausted in it. Therefore, the aim and the prayer of the Christians around the World must be the prevalence of peace of Christ in our souls and in our moral principles. In this way, our thoughts and our efforts should drive towards the implementation of peace between all people and nations.

The Church of Cyprus, remains true to the beliefs and the ideas of Peace and of mutual understanding. It is our commitment to promote peace and dialogue between different nations and religions globally, regionally and locally, not only in theory but also in practice.

However, in my homeland -the land that first received the divine Word of the Holy Gospel just after Palestine, by the Apostles Paul, Barnabas and Mark- although, there is no any current conflict, peace does not prevails. This is because of the fact that the northern part of our island is enslaved and under Turkish military occupation since 1974. Since then, our island is divided and basic Human Rights are violated daily and religious freedom is not respected. We have no right to worship in or protect and preserve our centuries old churches and monasteries. Besides, how could be regarded as “peace” the displacement of a large part of population as refugees from their ancestral homes because of brutal Turkish invasion? How can we possibly appease our conscience when hundreds of our churches, monasteries and other holy places violated, looted, destroyed and used as places for entertainment, storehouses or stables?

The truth of the aforementioned can be effortlessly ascertained from the study of electronic and printed material that is in your hands as a blessing of the Primate of the Church of Cyprus. We kindly ask for your action by informing and asking religious and political authorities of your countries to intervene and give an end to the ongoing tragedy of the Cypriot people. We kindly ask, also, your prayers for Cyprus, for an end to the continuous and uninterrupted destruction of a Christian civilization of 2000 years old and finally for the prevalence of a real and true peace in Cyprus.

With these thoughts and feelings in mind, we would like to convey our greetings and our blessings to all the participants of the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation.

With our best wishes

Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus,
17 May 2011.