Statement Issued at the 17th Biennial Ecclesiastical Congress on the Occasion of the Signing of the Civil Rights Bill into the Law of the Land

Glory to God in the highest! His will that "good will toward men" prevail someday in the world, is at last a reality here in the United States of America. Independence from civil wrongs is that which we hail today. We do not simply celebrate and commemorate Independence Day this year, we implement and enrich its meaning with the signing of the Civil Rights Bill. July 4, 1964 marks a most significant milestone in our history and in the history of mankind. A rekindled spirit reflecting the beauty of the Spirit of 1776 and that of 1863, is brightening the horizon of the world with the refreshing hope that justice and equality for all men regardless of race, color and creed, shall fill the hearts of all men.

May this glorious decision of our Congress mark a new era for humanity; an era in which the Word of God will be our command and direction in life, and when people will meet people face-to-face singing Hosannah and Alleluia!

+ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America.