Archbishop Jovan (John) VI

Stop the terror, persecution
and discrimination on religious grounds
conducted by the Government of FYROMacedonia!

A Letter from the Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes to Mr. Nikola Gruevksi, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia FYROM

Filed under: General — November 6, 2006 @ 12:32 pm



The Archbishop Jovan Fund USA

Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President

2618 West Bannock Street

Boise, Idaho 83702


Telephone 208-345-6147 Email:

Fax: 208-345-6147

Fax: +389-2311-2561

3 November 2006

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevksi
Bul. Illinen bb
1000 Skopje
Republic of Macedonia FYROM

Dear Mr. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevksi,

Humbly I greet you with the peace and love of our Lord God, and I pray all is well with you!

I am at this hour addressing you Mr. Prime Minister, and to the Good citizens of your beloved Macedonia FYROM.

I place before you this request and to all the good citizens of your beloved Macedonia (FYROM) on behalf of myself and many, many other concerned Americans that you reconsider the second sentence imposed on His Beatitude Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, Metropolitan of Skopje, and release him immediately.

I write this appeal not only as President of the Archbishop Jovan Fund USA, but also as a simple Orthodox Christian who grows increasingly concerned at the unfortunate message sent out to all the world when Christians persecute other Christians over disputes involving territorial jurisdictions.

Archbishop Jovan has now been imprisoned for well over 87 days as of 3 November 2006; the situation reflects badly upon the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Macedonian Government, and the Macedonian nation, and indeed, upon Christianity itself. Christians, perhaps more than any other people, should insist on religious freedom and should honor each individual’s human rights. At the present time, there is a rising tide of non-Christians who have erroneously embraced a distorted view of Christianity and see Christians as their enemy. It is therefore especially critical now for all Christians to stand together in support of one another and to show them to be people who can settle disputes with grace, dignity, with God’s love, and without violence.

Please refrain from further accusations against the Venerable and Respected Archbishop Jovan who continues his imprisonment as a consequence of the disputed accusations already made against him. For his sake and for the sake of your own standing in the eyes of the world, I beseech you to release him and to seek a more appropriate way to settle the issues and questions that have led to his imprisonment. It is unseemly for a pastor to be treated as a criminal because he attempted to minister to his flock as best he understood the need to do.

It is also a violation of many persons’ human rights to deprive them of their choice of worship within the Serbian Orthodox Church under the Patriarchate of His Holiness, Patriarch Pavel, even if these persons are citizens of Macedonia, or some other nation which has a national church of its own. God respects all nations but He does not draw national borders; He sees each individual soul regardless of nationality and He holds accountable the intention within each individual heart.

Please heed this humble appeal I make to you on behalf of all concerned Christians: restore to the honorable Archbishop Jovan his freedom to serve God in accord with his conscience and his vows. If he is at fault in any aspect of his pastoral practice, leave it to his superiors within the Serbian Orthodox Church to correct and discipline him. This is not a matter that should be dealt with by police action and imprisonment. Restore to him his cassock, his cross, his panagia, and his Holy Gospel. Let him go about serving God’s people in the knowledge that God Himself will ultimately judge his performance of these duties. Do not further deprive him of partaking in the Sacrament of the Holy Mystery of the Lord’s Supper, for this is truly what sustains the very life of a Christian. At the same time allow that desire to visit him and meet with him.

We well know in the West that the physical health of Archbishop Jovan is not good, and we hope he would receive all necessary medical attention.

At the same hour it would as well be very honorable that the Archdiocese of Archbishop Jovan has the right to exist as a free, practicing, religion within Macedonia.

Your Government has asserted its desire that all its citizens be free; it has claimed to adhere to international standards of human rights and religious freedom. Now show the world that Macedonia stands by these principles in actual practice and do what is most honorable in regards to Archbishop Jovan.

On my next visit to your beautiful country of Macedonia I earnestly hope that you and I may meet and talk.

May God bless Macedonia and guide its Government in accordance with His Wisdom and its Church with His loving Hand! May God grant His Peace to all nations.

Humbly in Christ our Lord,

+Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
President of the Archbishop Jovan Fund USA
& Parish Priest of
Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church

+Archpriest Victor Potapov
First Vice President

St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church
Washington, D.C.

+Hieromonk Damascene
Second Vice President

St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood
Serbian Orthodox Church

Father Pasius, Monk
St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood
Serbian Orthodox Church

V.Rev. N.S.

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