Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” Hebrews 12:14

We are blessed with many freedoms in this country, while many other parts of the world continue to suffer under oppression. We must never take for granted the liberty that we enjoy, and we must always remember in prayer those whose rights have been taken away and continue to be persecuted.

On July 20, 1974 the people of Northern Cyprus suffered greatly during the invasion of the Turkish forces. Since that day, their lives have forever been changed. The destruction, persecution, loss of homes, jobs and lives are constant reminders of those very dark days which still persist 49 years later. There have also been more recent aggressive actions by Turkey against the legitimate right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop its offshore resources.

I would ask that all parishes in the Metropolis of San Francisco offer a Memorial Service in remembrance of all those who lost their lives during the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on either Sunday, July 16 or Sunday, July 23. Consul General of Cyprus, Archon Andreas Kyprianides, has organized a Memorial Service at Saint Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, July 16, and I will preside over a Memorial Service at the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco, CA on Sunday, July 23.

Let us call to mind our brothers and sisters in Northern Cyprus who are still suffering, lifting them up in prayer, and seeking peace and justice for their homeland through the Lord’s wisdom and mercy. We must continue to honor them with our prayers as well as with our ongoing commitment for a just and viable resolution and the restoration of their deserved freedom.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S
Metropolitan of San Francisco