GOARCH - June 18, 1999

Archbishop Spyridon Asks President Clinton
to Support Reconstruction in Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church

New York, NY - His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America has written a private letter to President Clinton, asking the President to support the reconstruction of Yugoslavia and the efforts of the Serbian Orthodox Church to bring peace and security for all parties in the region.

In his letter to President Clinton, Archbishop Spyridon wrote:

"The issue of a just and lasting peace in the region can only be resolved by insuring the rights of all parties. The protection of the Serbian minority in Kosovo, the guarantee of security and safety for the hundreds of monasteries and religious sites of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and a commitment to the reconstruction of the which should be ignored. One cannot interpret their silence during the relentless bombardment of their country as complicity or complacency. In fact, had the role of the Church not been dismissed in years past, perhaps the situation as it stands today would be much different. It is for this reason that I authorized direct financial assistance from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese devastated infrastructure of Yugoslavia must be held in the same regard as the repatriation of the refugees. Mr. President, the moral authority in Yugoslavia is the Serbian Orthodox Church. Their recent call for the Milosevic government to step down is a manifestation of that authority of America to the Serbian Church, and why even now, the Archdiocese is supporting the efforts of IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) with financial support for all parties in Yugoslavia now."

Reports that Serbian Orthodox religious sites may be in danger, as well as concerns over the safety of the Serbian minority in Kosovo are now appearing in the Press.

   June 18, 1999 ]