Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, for Christmas, sent an appeal to the authorities of R. Macedonia and to the international community, for releasing of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, in his most recent epistle for Christmas, which he delivered to the public on January 3, 2014, addressed the state persecution on religious basis that is performed against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric.
In the epistle, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia sent an appeal to the authorities of R. Macedonia and to the international community:
“Honorous and blessed Christmas we wish to our imprisoned brother and concelebrant, Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, and to the whole persecuted and suffering Orthodox Church in R. Macedonia. He is being unjustly held in prison by the authorities, and his believers are being denied the freedom of belief and conscience, only because they opted for the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The ethnophiletistic schism is the biggest tragedy of our Church in R. Macedonia. The schismatics, unfortunately, have submitted the unity of the Church to politics and ethnophiletism.
We appeal to the authorities of R. Macedonia to immediately and inevitably release our hierarch, brother and concelebrant Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, and to provide the Church of God, the Ohrid Archbishopric, full rights and liberty, which belong to her according to the law.
We are also appealing to the international community, which observes the violation of the basic human and religious rights and freedoms in R. Macedonia, to undertake measures and to prevent further discrimination of a Church and a people.”