Regarding the latest events, in which, countless times over, violation of human rights and religious freedom was evidenced in the Republic of Macedonia, the Orthodox Archdiocese of Ochrid informs the democratic European media with the following:
On 10 January 2004, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the Chapel of the Resurrection of Christ, police conducted a search under the pretense of searching out firearms. We do not know why the Ministry of the Interior neither informed the public of the reason for the search, nor that they found anything incriminating, as is testified in the transcript signed by two witnesses.
Following the search, the police arrested the two bishops present and all of the monks and nuns. Without any kind of explanation, they were detained in the police station for a full 30 hours under adverse circumstances. Following the 30-hour detention, they were released with the explanation that they had been detained for celebrating the Divine Liturgy (otherwise, this has been the case without any problem for one and a half years), which violated public order and peace.
His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan of Veles and Povardar and Exarch of Ochrid, was informed of further measures taken against him resulting in a 30-day imprisonment.
We give our unconditional support to our spiritual pastor and prayerful intercessor before God and we will never renounce the truth, which is Christ Himself, neither we will not permit a schismatic organization to “strike our pastor and scatter his flock”.
Here, the so-called Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), by ordering police intervention and willingly sacrificing not only her monastics, but also the entire Macedonian population and state, proves that she is not behaving as a mother, but instead a stepmother, who is loosing her monastics. This is the result of the action of the schismatic Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
We know that people leave the last of their wages in the churches, which converted into the private enterprise of the schismatic hierarchy of the Macedonian Orthodox Church serves their wanton needs, divides the Macedonian Diaspora, demonstrating their true anti-Macedonianism. Such non-parental behavior, we know with certainty, will force the remaining monasteries and their monastics, as well as a great number of clergy, to abandon their ranks.
Therefore, the faithful are determined to support the canonical hierarchy of the Archdiocese of Ochrid and to defend their monasteries from an organization referring to itself as the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
Relative to the above-mentioned, as reason-endowed persons of the Word, we stand prepared, in place of overt intolerance to which the schismatic MOC resorts, to come to the knowledge of truth in a cultured and civilized manner, through television debates with anyone of the hierarchs of the so-called Macedonian Orthodox Church.