Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, for Christmas, sent an appeal to the authorities of R. Macedonia and to the international community, for releasing of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, in his most recent epistle for Christmas, which he delivered to the public on January 3, 2014, addressed the state persecution on religious basis that is performed against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.
In the epistle, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia sent an appeal to the authorities of R. Macedonia and to the international community:
“We wish a virtuous and blessed Christmas to our imprisoned brother and concelebrant, Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan, and all his persecuted and suffering Orthodox Church in the Republic of Macedonia. The government there holds him imprisoned unjustly, and they prohibit freedom of faith and conscience to his faithful flock because they have decided for the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. That ethno-phyletistic schism is the biggest tragedy of our Church in the Republic of Macedonia. Unfortunately, schismatics have placed politics and ethno-phyletism above the unity of the Church.
We appeal to the government of the Republic of Macedonia to immediately and without delay release our father, brother and concelebrant the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skople Jovan, and to afford full rights and freedom as guaranteed by law to God’s Church, the Archdiocese of Ohrid.
We also appeal to the international community, who before their very eyes see how basic human and religious rights are being violated in the Republic of Macedonia, that they take the measures necessary to prevent further discrimination against the Church and her people.”
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