Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, alongside the Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ma ‘ruf Amin, expressed their stance this morning on the cessation of the conflict in Gaza and the release of abductees.
Welcoming the Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia to the Holy Archdiocese of Athens, the Archbishop emphasized Jesus’s teachings on love as a catalyst for coexistence and cooperation. “Love, bestowed by God, must be shared among humanity, transcending all discrimination. Jesus’s timeless words dissolve ideological, spiritual, and religious distances when people gather in goodwill,” the Archbishop stated. He highlighted the significance of the visit, seeing it as an opportunity to foster deeper understanding and bonds between both nations beyond mere tourism.
In their exchange, he underscored Indonesia’s reverence for all religions, advocating not for sacrifice but mutual respect and understanding. “Christianity and Islam share a common foundation in the one God of love, understanding, and empathy towards human imperfections,” he affirmed. Stressing unity over division, he called upon the Church of Christ and Islam to guide humanity on a path of mutual respect against modern challenges.
The Vice President reciprocated the Archbishop’s sentiments, expressing joy for his his first visit to Greece, a country rich in culture. He highlighted the shared characteristics of both peoples, emphasizing Indonesia’s motto of “unity in diversity.” Condemning Israeli strikes on an Orthodox monastery in Gaza, he reaffirmed Indonesia’s clear stance against attacks on civilians and public facilities. He urged an immediate cessation of hostilities, stressing that the conflict in Gaza isn’t religious but requires a global effort (from religious leaders too) to prevent escalation.
Discussing the abduction situation, the Archbishop urged an immediate halt to the war, the prompt release of abductees, and safeguarding children and civilians from being used as pawns. Concluding on a note of hope for a peaceful resolution, he emphasized the urgent need for dialogue.
“We must release the abductees immediately. We do not know where they are and what condition they are in. And of course, from all sides, children and civilians must not be used as shields and forerunners.” Concluding his speech, the Archbishop wished God to give a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Present at the meeting on behalf of the Church of Greece were the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, Archimandrite Ioannis Karamouzis, the Protosyncellus of the Archdiocese, Archimandrite Varnavas Theocharis, the General Hierarchical Vicar, Archimandrite Iakovos Andriopoulos, the Deputy General Hierarchical Vicar, Archimandrite Evgenios Pantzaridis, Archimandrite Theologos Alexandrakis, Director of the Institute for Pastoral Education of the Archdiocese, Archdeacon Ioannis Boutsis, the Director of the Office of Archbishop Ioannis Tsouras and the Director of the Press Office of the Archdiocese, Haris Konidaris.
Photos: Christos Bonis