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Protocol No. 126 Issued to The Clergy of the Greek Orthodox Churches of America Concerning the "Civil Rights Law" of 1964

To The Reverend Clergy of the Greek Orthodox Churches of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. My Dearly Beloved Brothers and Co- Workers in the Christian Vineyard:

 

As of July 4, 1964 we have a new law: "The Civil Rights Law", which provides equal rights and accommodations to our Negro fellow-citizens. It is our duty, the duty of the Clergy, to enlighten and to try to convince the Christians we serve that the enforcement of this law is their sacred obligation. Equality is not a political doctrine; it is a Christian axiom, based on the Bible, taught and reinforced by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who never practiced discrimination: political, social or religious. Demonstrations, violent or non-violent, will recede the moment we demonstrate our willingness to enforce the Civil Rights Law gradually, as it may have to be, but with determination for the benefit of us all. As descendants of Hellas which first among all nations in the world fought for freedom against every manner of segregation and discrimination, we are charged with the  responsibility of promoting and advancing the cause of equality and thus identifying ourselves as true believers and the perpetuators of our Hellenic-Christian tradition of democracy and justice.

I trust and pray that you will do all in your power to ensure a better and happier society, nourished and inspired by the moral and spiritual value of Christianity.

 

With paternal blessings in the Lord,

Iakovos

Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America