The ‘Free Archbishop Jovan’ petition at avaaz.org

Why is it important?

*As you read these lines, a man’s life is in danger and a grave injustice and human rights violation are being done to him and others.*

In the last twelve years His Beatitude Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan VI (Vraniškovski), who is pan-Orthodoxly renowned and recognized as the canonical Prelate of the ancient Ohrid Archbishopric, was seven times either imprisoned or in custody, for fictitious «criminal activities».

handcuffs

The conditions of his imprisonment are inhuman – locked in a cell for twenty-three hours a day, with only one hour to walk, with visits even by his mother and sister prohibited, as also the reading of books etc, denied visitation leaves, as well as his right to receive Holy Communion, even his right to religious confession – despite the fact that he has diabetes and serious problems with his spine…

The reason behind this torture is that Archbishop Jovan didn’t follow the FYROM state-ordered abolishment of the “Agreement for Establishing Church Unity” that was signed on 2000 by delegates of the so-called «Macedonian Church» and of the Serbian Patriarchate, but instead entered in liturgical and canonical unity with the Serbian Patriarchate and thereby with universal Orthodoxy worldwide.

Patriarch_Bartholomew_Archbishop_Jovan_Liturgy

Not only Archbishop Jovan is in prison again, but he and other members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric were physically attacked on a number of occasions and the churches they have built or used have been destroyed, as the 2006 Freedom House report on Macedonia confirms.

Destroyed_temple_Monastery_Chrysostomos

Of course all this is just not right. Archbishop Jovan and is flock should be left alone, the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric should be granted the right to register as a religious community and its members should be given back their confiscated property – without the unacceptable blackmail that the release of Archbishop Jovan is conditioned with his permanent leave of FYROM!

Amnesty International has found the Archbishop Jovan to be a Prisoner of conscience, but the FYROM government doesn’t care.
However it sure will, if many of us demand immediate release of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid – and demand it from the right people!

So let’s sign and urge certain people – The Vice President of the United States (Joe Biden), John F. Kerry, USA Secretary of State, Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of FYROM, Dr Gjorge Ivanov, President of FYROM, Pajo Avirovik, Permanent Representative of FYROM to the United Nations, and Adnan Jashari, Minister of Justice of FYROM – to stop Archbishop Jovan’s state-ordered persecution and all this injustice – NOW!

Let’s urge them to implement all possible means right away so that this crime cease being perpetrated, once and for all. Let’s sign, to make religious persecution history. Enough is enough, the times they are a-changin’. And Justice for All!

THE PETITION TEXT

To:

The Vice President of the United States (Joe Biden)

The Honorable John F. Kerry, USA Secretary of State

Their Excellencies

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Nikola Gruevski, Prime Minister of FYROM

Dr Gjorge Ivanov, President of FYROM

Pajo Avirovik, Permanent Representative of FYROM to the United Nations

The Honourable Adnan Jashari, Minister of Justice of FYROM

Your Excellencies,

At the official website of the FYROM government (http://vlada.mk/node/299?language=en-gb) we read that FYROM prime minister Nikola Gruevski ‘has a strong faith in God and is guided by the ideal of constant and truly dedicated work for the wellbeing and prosperity of his country’.

Gruevski

In an article at the webpage of the FYROM permanent mission to the UN, titled ‘Letters of Appreciation from the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’ and dated 24/08/2012, (http://www.missions.gov.mk/un-newyork/media-center/press-releases/letters-of-appreciation-from-the-united-nations-se/ ) we read that the Secretary General of the United Nations ‘emphasizes his positive impressions of the visit and talks with top officials of the country.’

BanKimoon-FYROM

Does his Excellence the Secretary General of the United Nations know about the long running totalitarian policy of the FYROM state, trying to control the Church with brutal campaigns of intimidation and terror?

Does he know that in the last twelve years His Beatitude Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan VI (Vraniškovski), who is pan-Orthodoxly renowned and recognized as the canonical Prelate of the ancient Ohrid Archbishopric, was seven times either imprisoned or in custody, for fictitious «criminal activities»?

Does he know that the reason behind this state torture is that Archbishop Jovan didn’t follow the FYROM state-ordered abolishment of the “Agreement for Establishing Church Unity” that was signed on 2000 by delegates of the so-called «Macedonian Church» and of the Serbian Patriarchate, but instead entered in liturgical and canonical unity with the Serbian Patriarchate and thereby with universal Orthodoxy worldwide?

Passover2008_Jerusalem_detail

Does he know that Archbishop Jovan and other members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric were physically attacked on a number of occasions and the churches they have built or used have been destroyed, as the 2006 Freedom House report on Macedonia confirms?

Does he know the inhuman conditions of Archbishop Jovan’s imprisonment – locked in a cell for twenty-three hours a day, with only one hour to walk, with visits even by his mother and sister prohibited, as also the reading of books etc, denied visitation leaves, as well as his right to receive Holy Communion, even his right to religious confession – despite the fact that he has diabetes and serious problems with his spine?

Does he know that Amnesty International found the Archbishop Jovan to be a Prisoner of conscience?

Or does Archbishop Jovan’s cruel and constant persecution, where the police can never identify the attackers against him, show ‘a strong faith in God’ and guidance ‘by the ideal of constant and truly dedicated work for the wellbeing and prosperity of their country’ on behalf of his persecutors? What worse things would mr. Grueski’s government perpetrate against its citizens, if he wasn’t the faithful Christian he declares himself to be?

We, the undersigned, cannot remain silent accomplices to this crime and we demand immediate release of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid!

06-12-FYROMs-Embassy-Washington

He and is flock should be left alone, the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric should be granted the right to register as a religious community and its members should be given back their confiscated property – without the unacceptable blackmail that the release of Archbishop Jovan is conditioned with his permanent leave of FYROM! Such blackmails cannot be tolerated in the free world, where the FYROM state claims it belongs! Since words are cheap, why don’t they show us PROOF of their claims: let them stop Archbishop Jovan’s state-ordered persecution and all this injustice – NOW!

We urge your Excellencies to implement all possible means right away so that this crime cease being perpetrated, once and for all, before the arrival of the New Year. Make religious persecution history. Enough is enough, ‘the times they are a-changin’‘. And Justice for All!

Here’s the address to sign it:

https://secure.avaaz.org/el/petition/Joe_Biden_John_Kerry_Ban_Kimoon_Nikola_Gruevski_Gjorge_Ivanov_Free_Archbishop_Jovan

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