Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Press Release at the Death of Dr. King


New York, N.Y., April 5, 1968 -- Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America, has directed that all Greek Orthodox Churches remain open so that the faithful may pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The Archbishop learned of the death of Dr. King during a reception he was hosting for the newly-enthroned Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, the Most Reverend Terence J. Cooke. The two Archbishops knelt in prayer in the Chapel of St. Paul in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese at 10 East 79th Street in Manhattan, and together recited the Lord's Prayer.

The following statement was later issued by the Greek Orthodox Primate:

 “We deeply mourn the loss of Martin Luther King who was a courageous minister of God, a champion of justice and human dignity for all men, a dedicated Christian whose ideals for freedom and equality for all men will remain as an example of unsurpassed devotion to the cause for which he was martyred."

The Archbishop recalled that he had joined Dr. King in Selma, Alabama in 1965 during the march to the Courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama to protest the murder of another devoted clergyman who was active in the civil rights movement.