His Eminence Metropolitan Evangelos of New Jersey issues statement on Minneapolis Events
Statement on the Incident in Minneapolis
May 30, 2020
The Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy
Esteemed Members of the Metropolitan Council, Esteemed Members of the Parish Councils, Philoptochos Sisterhood, Faculty and Students of the Catechetical and Greek Afternoon Schools, Directors and Participants of all Youth Organizations, and all devout Orthodox Christians of the Communities of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey
My Beloved in the Lord,
Over the past several days, communities across the United States have been in turmoil due to the tragic and unjust death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past week. The events leading up to his death and his death itself show a blatant disregard for civility and a disrespect for human life. This indifference to the value of human life and the events which were perpetrated against him are condemned in the strongest terms. Our nation has endured far too much injustice, far too much hatred, and far too much pain in its recent history to allow incidents like this to continue. The cost of these tragedies has been the very fracture of our nation’s soul.
The death of George Floyd highlights some of the primary issues of our contemporary society. Whether this tragedy was motivated by race, negligence, hatred, or indifference is not yet fully known, but what is known is that we are still grappling with the reality that there are underlying societal issues which are at the root of this societal problem. One of these issues is how we value human life. As Orthodox Christians who ardently believe that each person is made in the image and likeness of God, we must always stand up for timeless principle that every life has value and that life itself is a gift from God. The value of life is incalculable and its preciousness beyond expression. We are all children of God and His love for us is boundless. Therefore, we must treat each other with respect and dignity, recognizing that each one of us bears the same image and likeness which we ourselves received.
My beloved in the Lord, the tragedy which occurred sadly cannot be altered, however, our responsibility as Orthodox Christians and as citizens of the world is to ensure that the respect for life is perpetually preserved so that events like this do not occur again. As our nation tries to learn from this tragedy, let us always remember that peacefulness will always triumph even if it is the longer road to traverse. Finally, I ask that each and every one of you pray for all those involved including both the victims and the perpetrators. It is through our prayers, our fervent supplications before God, and our efforts to prevent future tragedies that He might heal this wound which presently afflicts our nation. In this way, we may be able to bring to fruition the words of the Prophet Isaiah, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Is. 1:17). Praying that our loving Lord grants peace to all so that justice may be done and so that our country may heal, I remain,
With Paternal Love and Blessings,
† E V A N G E L O S
Metropolitan of New Jersey