We remember with deep gratitude to Almighty God the ever-memorable witness and deep devotion of this servant of God, who gave selflessly for the well-being of others, and who, at a time when the world was turned upside down, remained steadfast in her faith and purpose.
The Holy and Great Martyr Saint George, a son of this Holy Land, has given us his blessing to be here together on this feast in the light that shines from the empty Tomb, so that we may proclaim in our generation the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection and His philanthropy to all humankind. Christ’s righteousness is the light of truth, and our spiritual mission is to be a beacon of that truth.
We live on the earth and not in heaven, and of course we remain deeply concerned for the future of the Christian presence in the Holy Land, as well as for the future of the Christian character of Jerusalem; without invalidating the legitimate claims of others. We are not interested in superiority over others, but we affirm that the long history and culture of our region in all its diversity has been shaped and formed by this Christian presence and the Holy Places
The Scriptures are clear. Human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, and are endowed with free will. Sin and evil are not inherent in our human nature, for human nature was created good by God. Rather, sin and evil happen when men and women “cease to act wisely and do good.” In other words, sin and evil are acts of mankind’s free will, and, as we would say, the wrong use of free will.
“The purpose of our synaxis is truly holy and sacred, the completion of the work that was commenced a long time ago by our fathers, namely the study, review and resolution of vital issues and problems facing our flocks and our fellow human beings across the globe."
"The Church of Jerusalem is the Church of the Cross of Christ. We share in both the joys and the sufferings of the Church and our peoples wherever they may be, and we stand ready to make our contribution to the restoration of peace and the building of reconciliation."
"This is our prayer also for the displaced community, that after their exile here and elsewhere, then may at last be able to return to their homes and re-built their lives in their communities, where in many cases they and their families have lived for generations."
The largest ever conference dedicated to the plight of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East was held in Athens October 19-20, 2015, entitled "Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Co-existence in the Middle East." Delegates from fifty countries gathered, including primates of local Orthodox Churches, representatives of Catholic and Protestant communities, Muslim leaders, governmental officials, and representatives of international organizations and the academic community.