They have recently heard about the Court of Appeals Judges’ Council decision of December 23, 2011 to hold the very Reverend Archimandrite Ephraim, the Abbot of Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi, in custody while unsettling land swamp criminal investigation. They were appalled by the unprecedented ferocity of the Greek law enforcement in persecution of a monk who had practiced nothing more than humility, celibacy and poverty for over thirty years as obligatory condition to remain as such.
It is widely known that for the past three years there has been a dispute concerning certain property deals made by Holy Monastery of Vatopedi with the state of Greece to avoid earlier disagreements with the state. These deals involved the exchange of property in Thrace belonging to the monastery with other properties belonging to the state, exchanges that were instigated and implemented by the state. Media reports of these events and the background to them have been wildly speculative, one-sided, and characterized by innuendo, but legal proceedings are continuing with further hearings scheduled.
The very Reverend Archimandrite Ephraim was arrested right on Christmas Eve which further outlines burocratic cynicism of the law enforcement entities.
The Holy Mount Athos monks’ republic is a part of the unique thounsand- year-old internationally acclaimed heritage of Greek and Roman empire culture.
Greeks of Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Tashkent hope that Greeks all over the world will show strong concern for the situation in Holy Mount, because the very Reverend Archimandrite Ephraim is a spiritual father for hundreds of monks which are left without spiritual guidence. He also is a public figure and represents global Orthodox Christian leadership for the millions of the Christian believers on the planet.