Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

“The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.”Psalm 29:11

It was on July 20, 1974 that the people of northern Cyprus suffered greatly during the invasion of the Turkish forces. Since that day, their lives have forever been changed. The destruction, persecution, loss of homes, jobs and lives are constant reminders of those very dark days which still persist 46 years later.

While we enjoy many freedoms in this country, many other parts of the world continue to suffer under oppression. We must never take for granted the liberty that we enjoy, and we must always remember in prayer those whose rights have been taken away and continue to be persecuted.

As you gather on Sunday, July 19, 2020, whether in church or worshipping virtually, I ask that each parish in our Metropolis offer a Memorial Service in remembrance of all those who lost their lives during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Let us remember our brothers and sisters in northern Cyprus who are still suffering, and let us lift them up in prayer seeking peace and justice for their homeland through the Lord’s wisdom and mercy. We must continue to honor them with our prayers as well as with our ongoing commitment for the restoration of the freedom which they so deserve.

With Love in Christ,
+ G E R A S I M O S

Metropolitan of San Francisco