FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2013
ESPHIGEMOU MONASTERY CURRENTLY UNDER ATTACK
MOUNT ATHOS, GREECE – Under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek government has once again allowed chaos and violence to erupt on Mt. Athos. As we speak, a marauding group of monks from an imposter brotherhood on Mt. Athos is currently attacking Esphigmenou Monastery property in Karyes. Police on Mt. Athos have been notified but have refused to respond.
This is not the first time Esphigmenou has come under attack, in November 2005, sledgehammer wielding monks from the same imposter brotherhood attacked Esphigmenou and sent several Esphigmenou monks to the hospital. See link: http://www.esphigmenou.com/Sound/Esphigmenou%20being%20attacked%20Video.swf
The Greek government has authorized the use of force to resolve a religious dispute after failing to starve the monks into leaving their monastery during a decade-long blockade. For a number of years they have denied the monks deliveries of food, medicine, heating oil, and access to medical attention while simultaneously subjecting them to a non-stop campaign of official harassment and intimidation.
This waste of taxpayer dollars has continued unabated during the financial crisis that has rocked Greece and crippled social services to the poor and for which the UN has criticized the Greek government for falling behind on its human rights obligations.
Under the Greek Constitution, the Greek foreign minister is responsible for the administration of government on Mt. Athos and has ultimate authority on the orders to use armed police there.
The monks have repeatedly requested dialogue with the Greek government as well as Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul to resolve this dispute. The Patriarch has refused to aid in the peaceful reconciliation of this dispute and has encouraged the government to take action against the monks. In September, 2012 the government deployed special riot police MAT and EKAM to the peaceful monastic community in a failed attempt to remove the same defenseless monks.
For over one thousand years the monastery has provided a place of prayer and peace for those who chose the monastic life. It is now threatened with extinction.
For more info please contact John Rigas +1-617-524-4724 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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