Statement by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Light of the Tragic Events in the Middle East

We are deeply grieved by the news coming from the suffering Middle East. We mourn the souls taken during the recent tragic events. May God’s embrace comfort the grieving families.

Our thoughts and prayers are particularly with the civilians, who experience painful moments of anguish, terrorized by the eerie sound of the sirens and the imminent threat of the explosions, and especially with all the innocent children, who deserve to get raised in a truly “Promised Land” of peace and prosperity.

Amid anger and destruction, amid evil and bitterness, human beings are easily tempted to think and to act violently. While many deem violence as a necessary means of dispute resolution, we can never see it as part of God’s good creation, nor can we ever approve the use of violence to pursue peace. Instead, we must look back to the “good” that God first created and the perfect peace to which he desires us to go, exhorting with the Psalmist: “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14). Besides, the struggle for peace is not only a divine commandment, but also a universal value and an essential precondition for the respect and protection of human dignity.

Statement by His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America

With heavy hearts, we mourn the innocent souls taken in the barbaric terrorist attack by Hamas in Israel. May God’s embrace comfort the grieving families. Let us all fervently pray for lasting peace and healing in the Holy Land.

Statement by His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco

We grieve with our brothers and sisters in the Middle East who are suffering at the hands of Hamas. This sacred land has been violated with human indignity, loss of life, and the torture bringing about tremendous physical and emotional pain is incomprehensible.

Let us lift up in prayer all those who are suffering, those who have lost their lives, and pray for peace, healing, and God’s abundant mercy.