George Floyd’s death was not in vain, say bishops in America and Palestine

New York, June 16, 2020

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Tragic though it may have been, George Floyd’s death has furthered the cause of justice for all Americans and has inspired people around the world to rise up and fight against racism and oppression, and thus it was not in vain, Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Archbishop Theodosius of Sebaste of the Jerusalem Patriarchate say in recent statements.

A press release from GOARCH issued on June 13 states that Abp. Elpidophoros welcomes the “Say Their Name” Reform Package signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the wake of George Floyd’s death introducing certain measures to help combat “the issue of systemic brutality against minority communities across the nation,” including banning chokeholds by law enforcement officers.

“I am grateful to our New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo … for the swift action to institute long overdue reform. This is not about hurting in any way our police forces, but rectifying those areas of practice that have been the cause of abuse and even the death of our fellow citizens,” Abp. Elpidophoros commented.

And speaking of results of George Floyd’s death, he continues: “If the unjust killing of George Floyd has brought us one step closer to justice for all Americans, then his death, however tragic and unnecessary, will not have been in vain. Regardless of the color of our skin, the customs of our culture, the rituals of our religion, or the language of our lips, we are all Americans and we all deserve full protection under the law.”

Recall that Abp. Elpidophoros marched in a Black Lives Matter protest against the death of Breonna Taylor on June 3, a 26-year-old EMT who was killed when police raided her home in March.

In his own statement, published by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee on June 10, Abp. Theodosius refers to George Floyd as a “martyr for humanity.”

“We see him as a Palestinian martyr. George Floyd and all other martyrs will remain worldwide symbols of freedom and the struggle to achieve justice here and everywhere,” the Jerusalem Patriarchate hierarch said.

The Archbishop, who often speaks out in defense of persecuted Palestinians, states that therefore, “From the City of Jerusalem, the City of Peace, we stand firm, in solidarity and support, with the peaceful demonstrators who are fighting to end racism, prejudice, and police brutality all over the United States and around the world.”

“We condemn and reject the heinous murder of George Floyd. We condemn the systemic and institutional anti-black racism in America. Racism is evil and must be rejected, confronted, and resisted by all peaceful means,” he continues.

Those in Palestine “have a common suffering from the forces of evil and oppression in all its fascist forms whether religious, social, political and economic apartheid,” Abp. Theodosius emphasizes.

Palestinians are standing shoulder to shoulder with their “African American brothers and sisters” to end racism everywhere, he writes, and the death of George Floyd reminds that racism is rooted in the dehumanization of the other.

The fight against racism must be a global, coordinated effort, Abp. Theodosius believes. “We must walk together in the path of salvation and the consecration of the values of love, brotherhood, and mercy in the tradition of our Lord Jesus Christ and his disciples, saints, and all those who defended these values in our world.”

Freedom, equality, and justice are universal values and Christian values, shared by those in America and those in Palestine and those around the world, the Archbishop writes. Love knowns no boundaries, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, or skin color.

In fact, Palestinians see George Floyd as one of their own, Abp. Theodosius believes: “The martyr George Floyd is a martyr for humanity. We see him as a Palestinian martyr. George Floyd and all other martyrs will remain worldwide symbols of freedom and the struggle to achieve justice here and everywhere.”

His Eminence ends his statement with condolences to the family of George Floyd, and a word to the deceased: “You sacrificed your life for us to rise and fight against racism and oppression. Your death was not in vain. You are with your Lord in Heaven.”

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A Greek of Constantinople.6/18/2020 7:59 pm
Photios. The editors of this website are merely reporting on views. If you are upset by the take, be with the one who made the statements. Even if he is a bishop or a monk. This website is trying to be moderate in its reporting, as it should be as a news and article website revolving around the entire Orthodox World. I used to be angry with some statements made by the Russian clergy, and I too complained about the website. But I was wrong. They merely report the news and report the source of these statements. If the article does not have a source for the statements and points presented, then you could claim that it is a "compromised tool" promoting propaganda. But if it has a source for these statements, why are you complaining at the editors?
George6/18/2020 7:11 am
On June 2, 2020 a Lav Vegas, Nevada Police Officer and member of Saint John’s Greek Orthodox Church named Shay Mikalonis was shot in the head during a Black Lives Matter protest in the Las Vegas area. He remains in critical condition and on life support as of the date of this email. God heal him and his family and give them strength.
Photios6/18/2020 3:18 am
The editors of this website are part of the problem. is becoming a compromised tool of the globalists, ever since their “punishment” by the Facebook police who kicked them of their platform with false accusations. Now orthochristian is desperately trying to win the approval of the enemies of Christianity, by trying to prove that they are “moderate”. They are ever so respectful of GOARCH and the heretical Elpidophoros. If we are to judge orthodoxy by the character of these bishops then we can safely say that there is as much Orthodoxy Christianity in these men as there is in the BLM terrorists.
A Greek of Constantinople.6/18/2020 3:07 am
What can I say more on the criminal and amateur internet porn star, George Floyd? Most comments bellow have said it best. Such statements are pandering towards the subjects of the GOARCH and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Nothing more. Some bishops do not fail to seize on the opportunity to appease their subjects, while appearing cool and progressive with the popular movements of the left. Palestine and Black Lives Matter, are movements promoted by the leftist agenda, and both bishops feel the need to appease their followers in order to better polish their image. One is in New York City and has to appease the liberal New Yorkers and the other in Jerusalem and has to appease the Palestinians. There is nothing more to this beyond the show of support and public statements. If they want to confront racism, both can go to Turkey and confront the ultranationalists and islamists about their genocides. Particularly Elpidophoros, who is a Turkish citizen. If he stood for anything, he would have spoken out against racism and injustice in Turkey.. But he doesn't. All this talk of "combating racism" is also a joke, since among his rank there are no racists.. But not among his flock. I assure you neither have the guts to stand up to the tens of thousands of Greek right wingers who justifiably dislike Muslim and African illegal migrants, because they know they can make their lives very, very, difficult. Elpidophoros to me is of no consequence as our foreign policy needs a modernist stooge to appease the West.. and that is all he is. But the bishop from Jerusalem is provocative, as this goes against our interests given the military, business & technological cooperation that Greece has with Israel. That bishop should be quickly put in his place because appeasing pro-Turkish radical islamic Palestinians at the expense of Israel is not only idiotic.. It looks bad. Yes, I believe the Patriarch of Jerusalem should pull his ear.
Sage-Girl6/17/2020 9:38 pm
These Bishops are woefully not informed of Reality! They live in self enclosed bubbles + fed cliches bombarded to them by the Simple because they don’t have time to check facts. FACTS: George Floyd was an Evil lifetime criminal, who put gun to pregnant woman’s stomach + destroyed her home — Autopsy showed he died of drugs he was on: Fentanyl... the policeman who kneed his neck KNEW his crime on that pregnant woman!!
Antiochene Son6/17/2020 1:45 pm
This is an embarrassment. These foreign bishops have no idea what they are talking about, jumping on a media fueled hype wagon. Robert Willan gives a good summary in these comments. He likely would have died regardless, as he was having difficulty breathing, probably suffering a heart attack, before he was even put into the police car and fought with officers for several minutes. I hope George Floyd repented of his many grave sins before he died. To call him a martyr is beyond the pale.
Basil Hill-Zeck6/17/2020 11:36 am
Thank you for publishing the kind words of Archbishop Theodosius. I'm touched to see that the much-suffering people of Palestine have us Americans in their hearts, even while they bear such a heavy yoke.
betty rock6/17/2020 7:35 am
I can't tell you how disturbed I am after reading this My family has been enforcement for some time mow.This was hard to take.God Bless you,have a good day Father
John6/17/2020 4:38 am
A martyr in heaven? Goethe Floyd Held up a pregnant woman by gun point and pointed his pistol directly at her unborn child. It’s my understanding he had a career in porn as well. This man is a saint and model for humanity? This kind of stuff turns people away from religion.
Gary Cox6/17/2020 3:58 am
He didn't deserve to die but if you physically fight the officers then don't expect to be treated gently. Race probably had nothing to do with this. Does anyone really believe if he had been white then the police would have walked away and not upheld their duty to arrest him but since he was black to kill him? Really???
Theophany6/17/2020 3:42 am
These are evil things to say. Are the 'bishops' actually children of light? Or are they children of the devil?
robert willan6/17/2020 3:17 am
This is both nonsense and lies. Floyd George was not murdered. He died of a drug induced heart attack. He was apprehended for committing a crime and, despite being handcuffed, four policemen could not get the violent 6 ft 7" tall bouncer into the police car. A police officer then used a taught restraining technique, a technique taught to American police forces, incidentally, by the Jews of the Israeli Defence Force. Floyd then died of a heart attack, not asphyxiation, likely induced by the amount of drugs in his system. Floyd had been in jail on three occasions, once for armed robbery during which he thrust a gun into the pregnant belly of a terrified woman. He was not turning his life around at the time of his death. He had been apprehended for using forged notes and died from taking illegal drugs. These publicity seeking, pandering, Greek-American archbishops are serving the antichrist, and even lying. Do they think they are impressing looters, arsonists, murderers, drug dealers, anarchists, communists, feminists and church burners by bowing to them and spreading their lies?
Mikhail6/16/2020 10:38 pm
A martyr? Does the Archbishop know that he had a very long criminal record? He did not deserve to die...but a martyr?!? We are living in the twilight zone.
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