The Honorable Senator Paul S. Sarbanes
309 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 November 07, 2005
We are deeply concerned about what is happening, again, to a group of Christian Greek-Orthodox monks in the Monastery of Esfigmenou, in the cradle of Christianity Mt. Atho, in Greece. http://www.esphigmenou.com/
We call on you particularly because of your Greek heritage of which you are proud and your leadership in the Senate and the broader political stage.
The Greek government, seemingly, has succumbed to the pressures of the Patriarchate of Constantinople that tries to bring under its authority rule, using administrative stratagems, a handful of monks that happen to disagree with the actions of the Patriarch.
Specifically, the Greek government, disregarding the principle of separation of Church and State, is using security forces, e.g., police, to blockade the Monastery, and starve the elderly monks of food, badly needed medications and heating fuel.
In the interim, an impostor monastery – under the same name – has been set up to receive all external communication intended for the authentic monastery. How criminal!
These monks are not politically active and have no political leverage or formal lobbying assets. They work hard in the field during the day producing their own food and at night they pray, being cloistered in that Monastery. They only have a few friends who have come to appreciate their credo and genuine peaceful character.
As Americans we wonder, if we are to project the image or claim the scepter of the world’s power, should not America be concerned about such authoritarian actions that are grossly iniquitous? America is not going to be victorious using arms and force but only through the rule of law and judiciousness, continuing to embrace and promote religious freedom.
We are asking you to intervene and put a stop to this “wicked” use of authority.
Very truly yours,
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