Hellenic Orthodox Traditionalist
Church of America
Do not bomb Christians on Easter
April 1st, 1999
Dear Mr. President,
I am for a third time writing to you as a Christian, as an Orthodox Christian Hierarch, and as a native-born Greek-American.
I will not repeat all the things I expressed to you very recently in two previous letters. You are well aware of the horror being perpetrated by NATO forces in the sovereign state of Yugoslavia. I do not need to tell you how many men, woman, and children, Christian and Muslim, "smart bombs" have killed in the past seven days. I can only ask you, in the name of God, to use all your power and all your authority to stop all NATO strikes against all the peoples of Yugoslavia immediately.
Mr. President, I must inform you that this Sunday is Palm Sunday for more than 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians. Palm Sunday is when we Orthodox Christians glorify the day when Jesus Christ will enter Jerusalem. It is the day that begins His Passion and Suffering that leads up to His Crucifixion and Resurrection. We Eastern Orthodox Christians know the week that follows Palm Sunday as Great and Holy Week. During Great and Holy Week we will participate in the Glorious Passion and Suffering of Jesus Christ. On Pascha, the Sunday following Palm Sunday, we will participate in His Glorious Three-Day Resurrection.
Mr. Clinton, there is no holier time for Eastern Orthodox Christians than Great and Holy Week. It is a time when we emerse ourselves, experience for ourselves, and glorify through prayer, fasting, and hymns the Great Miracle that is the Suffering, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a most solemn and sacred time that the Eastern Orthodox Church Calendar revolves around and prepares for all year. It is in reality the meaning and essence of our short sojourn on this planet.
Mr. President, I am sure that you know that the Serbs of Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina, Kosovo and Metohija are Orthodox Christians. They have been Orthodox Christians for a thousand years. Millions of Serbians have died throughout history rather than give up their Faith. Many times in the past they have defended all of Christendom in the face of death. I implore you, Mr. President, do not make us party to the death of any more Serbians during this Holiest of times.
I must tell you, Mr. Clinton, I was deeply saddened when I heard reports that NATO forces have written "Happy Easter" on some of the bombs dropped over Yugoslavia. I hope these reports are untrue. If our intention is to insult the entire Serbian, people and nation it was enough that the day German airplanes in the NATO airstrikes dropped bombs on Serbia last week was the anniversary of a great day in Serbian history. No German planes had seen combat since World War Two until this recent NATO strike. In March of 1941 the Serbs were pounded by the German Luftwaffe (airforce) because they made the decision to fight against Hitler and join the Allies. On the 58th anniversary of that great day the Luftwaffe again has dropped bombs on the Serbs. I am sure you see the significance of that, Mr. Clinton, just as I am sure you see the significance in fighting a war gauged to humiliate and insult an entire civilization.
Recently during decisions made while planning for a military strike against Iraq the decision, as announced by you to the American people, was made to cease any military strikes during the period of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy time for all Muslims and as Iraq is populated by millions of Muslims you did the proper thing, the good thing, in making that decision. I am imploring you to do the right thing, the good thing, and call off NATO strikes against the people of Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina, Kosovo, and Metohija, during Orthodox Christian Great and Holy Week. Not to do so would be extremely painful to not only Serbian Orthodox Christians but to Albanian, Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Beylorussian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Arab, African, and Asian Orthodox Christians as well. I know from personal experience, having Albanians in my Cathedral here in New York, that the Albanian Orthodox Christians are suffering as much as anyone in Yugoslavia is.
The Nineteenth century French philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, was a keen observer of the American Nation. It was he who saw the greatness that was (and still is) America when he said, "America is great because she is good. When she ceases to be good she will cease to be great."
Do what is good, Mr. President, and keep America, keep us, a great nation.
I pray that the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may enter your heart.
In Christ, I remain, the unworthy monk,
Metropolitan Archbishop PAVLOS
But Adolf Clinton knows no God. At least no Christian one. NATO has bombed all through the Holy Week.
The truth belongs to us all.
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Last revised: April 28, 1999