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19.04.2012

The Archbishop of America of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America with seat in New York, Archbishop Demetrios, sent a letter to the US Secretary of State, Ms. Hilary Clinton, in which he expressed his deep concern regarding the imprisonment of the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan, and requested his immediate release.

In his addressing to the US Secretary of State, Ms. Hilary Clinton, Archbishop Demetrios of America points out: “in the name of the 65 Hierarchs who are part of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, I would like to draw Your attention to the truly sad situation in which Archbishop of Ohrid Jovan is found”, and adds: “his arrest has several years long history, from the time when the schismatic church of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia began the persecution of Archbishop Jovan, the canonical Archbishop of Ohrid. The church of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is not recognized by any canonical Orthodox Church in the world, and her constitution by the internal powers is only one more example of action which is contrary to what is right and what is proper, and what is in accordance with the Canonical right of the Orthodox Church across the ecumene.

Archbishop Demetrios in his letter to Ms. Hilary Clinton also states: “With the members of our Assembly who reside and serve to the orthodox believers in the United States, we very much appreciate what our country is doing in the world regarding the human rights, religious freedoms and the protection of the human dignity and security of each person. Archbishop Jovan has been unjustly imprisoned while he was attempting to fulfill his religious obligations and we sincerely hope that our Government will intercede in his name and request his release on freedom.

We are deeply grateful to You for your unceasing efforts, especially for the improvement of the religious freedoms around the world. As Orthodox Christians, the most suitable way to express our gratitude is to continue to pray for You and for all our civil authorities, and pray that God be with You and greatly multiply Your noble efforts for America and for the whole world”, are the words with which Archbishop Demetrios concludes his appeal for immediate release of Archbishop Jovan, an appeal addressed to the US Secretary of State, Ms. Hilary Clinton.