To the Editor:
Church and homeland are inseparable. Hellenism and Christianity have never been separated, as the historian and scholar Spyros Lambrou said: “Cross and Greece were the two ideals of the enslaved nation.” We Greeks are a proud people, a people of heroes. Let’s stay that way. Let us embrace the forgotten ideals again, we owe it to the dead who sowed the martyr country with their limbs. Let us not betray their sacrifice. In so many centuries of slavery, the Greeks could never keep their religion and language. They lived with those of another religion who cut the tongues of Christians who dared to speak Greek. The Turks did not let them learn to read and write, it was forbidden. This is how the secret schools were created. The priests and monks, with the flame of faith, in the damp rooms of the monasteries or in the narthexes of the churches, taught the Greek children the immortal Greek language, at the risk of their lives at night. I thank those who kept my religion, my language, and my nationality to be a Christian and to be called Greek.
They were slaughtered, hanged, tortured in order for us to win today the freedom of the Hellenic land. And the barbaric Turkish Albanians once abolished religion and language in my particular homeland, Northern Epirus. As Stratis Myrivilis writes: “If we exist today as a Greek race, it is because we have been sheltered by the cloak of our religion all these years.”