kantonopou’s blog


Appeal for stopping the terror upon the religious freedoms in Skopia (Fyrom)

Συγγραφέας: kantonopou στις Μάιος 25, 2012

On May 21, 2012, acting upon a court warrant issued the previous day, on May 20 (Sunday), numerous police forces, in an organized and violent manner, at approximately 7 hours in the morning, raided several monasteries of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, as well as several homes of citizens members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, in various towns in our homeland.

While performing the throughout search, the police officers were treating the nuns particularly rough, for which we are enclosing personal statements. Their telephones were violently taken from their hands, the nuns were harassed, and then with handcuffs on their hands taken to the Court of First Instance Skopje 1. Such behavior the police demonstrated also towards the monks and the faithful people of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.

Against the Bishops, part of the priests, monks, nuns and faithful people of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, according to the reports from the international community, the subjected to political influences and corruption, Macedonian judiciary, is preparing an accusation for organized crime and money laundry.

But under the guise of these false accusations is indeed hiding the latest state terror on religious grounds. Namely, in the performed searches, apart from the confiscated computers, phones, material funds, the police also confiscated all registry books in which the lists of the baptized and married people of our Church are kept, it confiscated all empty certifications for baptism and marriage, it confiscated the registry book of the whole written correspondence of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, as well as a large number of documents of exclusively religious character. How is this connected to “money laundry”! Actually , the police performed this search knowing that the Bishops it was looking for were taking part in the Holy Assembly of Bishops in Belgrade, and are therefore absent from R. Macedonia. Having the experience from the past, we expect that the police will begin with intimidations of all people whose names would be found in the abovementioned registry books.

Macedonian courts are for whole eight years refusing to register the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, and for whole ten years are persecuting its prelate, Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, who is for the sixth time being imprisoned.

After the latest verdict for imprisonment of Archbishop Jovan, on May 11, 2012, the court authorities have decided to exterminate the existence of the Orthodox Archbishopric, expanding the persecution on religious grounds also towards its Bishops, as well as part of the priests, monks, nuns and faithful people. After this police, but also media, campaign full of hate speech and non-truths, a large part of the members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric are feeling uncertainty for their lives.

We appeal to their Excellences, all representatives of the foreign embassies of the democratic states, the embassy of OSCE, the institutions for protection of the human rights and religious freedoms, to provide all means of help and support, for an immediate ceasing of the persecution targeted against Archbishop Jovan, Bishop Marko, Bishop David, abbess Kirana, prioress Olimpiada, hieromonks Mojsej and Irinej, nuns Magdalina and Pelagia, as well as a large number of their relatives and close lay people (the list of all accused, with the appropriate court material is enclosed in the appeal sent in writing), for final stopping of this persecution and terror upon the religious freedoms of an ever growing number of citizens, which the state authorities of R. Macedonia are performing against the members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, with the purpose of wiping out their existence.


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