Cyprus’ Archbishop Chrysostomos Easter message said Cypriots must continue to resist entreaties from the Turkish-Cypriot northern third that was seized during a 1974 invasion and that they must not even go there to shop or travel through the Ercan airport.
He said Cypriots who do had strayed from national and religious values as much as those who support abortion and cohabitation of same-sex partners, the Cypriot Mail reported, as his words were read out in churches on the island.
He said the message of the Resurrection was that the hardships the nation is going through are temporary but also give people encouragement to struggle for freedom and be rid of the Turkish occupation. “The resurrected Jesus Christ gives hope to those weary of the 45-year long occupation that this will pass,” the message said.
Throughout history, he said, as years and generations passed, “45 and 50 or 100 years are nothing more than one moment. They will go down in the future as nightmare, a bad remembrance.”
He said while it can seem too difficult to stand up what he called the conquerors but that the Cypriots will be victorious in the end because “God dethrones despots and entertains the wishes of nations. We have had worse situations and we have survived.”
The Archbishop said the country had survived many invasions and occupations “because our ancestors were not seduced by the promises of the conquerors or have been bent by their threats. Despite all the hardships, they remained committed to the values of our faith and our homeland.”
He singled out people who cross the dividing Green Line separating the island and go to the occupied territory and who go there “not to visit churches and the graves of their ancestors but to do transactions with the occupation, for fun, for the use of the illegal airport.”
He said it was those kind of tainted values that brought the kind of corruption that brought down the Cooperative Bank and the sought deconstruction of the people’s morality through the introduction of legislation on abortions, gender choice and the cohabitation of same sex-persons.
“It is obvious that these laws aim at destroying not only the religious but also the national component of our people,” the Archbishop also said.