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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

GREECE: In Recent Raid on Esphigmenou Hostel Greek Police Arrest Monk Dying of Cancer

      


All thanks to the ‘loving’ Ecumenical Patriarchate and the ‘tolerant’ New Calendar Church of Greece.  The price for opposing ecumenism in many places.
 
ARMED GREEK RIOT POLICE RAID AND SEIZE ESPHIGMENOU INFIRMARY AND ARREST CANCER-STRICKEN MONK 

Latest Step in Greek Government’s Campaign of Official Harassment and Intimidation of Monks

THESSALONIKI, GREECE – Yesterday, over 50 armed Greek riot police raided an infirmary in Thessaloniki owned by Esphigmenou Monastery and arrested one peaceful and defenseless monk who is seriously ill, battling cancer.

“We call upon the Greek government and all parties involved to refrain from violent actions and to let the Esphigmenou monks pray in peace as we have for over 1,500 years,” said Abbot Methodios of Esphigmenou Monastery. 

“We also ask all people of goodwill to support us in our struggle for religious liberty, and to allow our over 100 brothers to live our lives in peace and in prayerful contemplation, rather than under constant persecution by the government.”

“Over 25 monks have already died from lack of medical care due to the blockade, and now police are dragging cancer-stricken monks out of their infirmary. I call upon the Greek government to stop this assault on the Esphigmenou monks and drop the trumped-up charges against them,” said John Rigas of Friends of Esphigmenou.  

“At a time when the Greek government is struggling to be able to provide for it’s people, it is unconscionable that they continue to deploy riot police and involve themselves in this dispute. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers for the Esphigmenou monks during this difficult time, especially with winter approaching.”

The Esphigmenou monastery has been involved in a freedom of speech dispute with Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul, Turkey, for several years. They have requested dialogue with him in order to resolve this dispute in a peaceful and brotherly manner, but he has refused.  

He has used the Greek government as a weapon against his fellow Orthodox Christians to remove the monks from the land they have legally owned and occupied for more than 1500 years. 


In recent years the Greek government has engaged in a non-stop campaign of harassment and intimidation of the peaceful monks, and have often resorted to violence. At least 25 monks at Esphigmenou have died while the police continue to enforce a blockade to prevent the delivery of food, medical supplies and even visits from medical doctors to see ailing and elderly monks. 

Monks who have ventured outside the monastery walls seeking food or medicine have been arrested and dragged into court.  Greece has been cited for these actions against these peaceful monks in the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report.


More information can be found on Twitter @esphigmenou

   


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