US President Joe Biden expressed his solidarity with the Orthodox faithful who have been prosecuted in the past and remain under threat today, in a message sent to coincide with Orthodox Easter on May 2.
In his message the American President says that “no one should be targeted for their religious affiliation, beliefs, and practices. No one should be fearful of celebrating their faith and traditions.
“The United States will continue to work to protect freedom of religion, both at home and around the world,” Biden adds.
On April 24, Biden recognized the genocide of Armenian people committed by Turkey in 1915. Armenians are for the most part Orthodox Christians.
This ended a consistent policy of non-recognition that has long guided Biden’s predecessors. “Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” the American President said.
Biden has enormous respect for Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Orthodox Church, whose spiritual center has remained in Constantinople for many centuries.
He has met Bartholomew several times, including in America, Greece and Constantinople. President Biden once described the meetings as “one of the greatest honors of my life.”
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Biden stated, is the “most Christ-like figure I have ever met.
“I’ve never met anyone like His All-Holiness. He radiates grace, conviction, and faith in every movement,” Biden said before assuming office.
The full statement on Orthodox Easter by Joe Biden
“Jill and I extend warm wishes to all our friends in the Orthodox Christian community observing Easter.
“On this occasion of joy and renewal, Orthodox Christians worldwide rejoice in the miracle of the Resurrection and affirm commitments to spiritual disciplines and service to those in need.
“This is also a season of remembrance—to honor the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for the world and to stand in solidarity with all those in the Orthodox community who have been persecuted for their faith and those who remain under threat today. No one should be targeted for their religious affiliation, beliefs, and practices. No one should be fearful of celebrating their faith and traditions. The United States will continue to work to protect freedom of religion, both at home and around the world.
“This Easter, as Orthodox Christians and so many other people of faith have had to once again modify religious traditions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can also look to the future with hope. Thanks to the leadership of countless people, including so many people of faith, the progress we are making in our battle against the virus will soon allow for a return to our timeless and treasured traditions of Easter and other holidays.
“We wish a blessed Easter to all Orthodox Christians around the world celebrating a risen Christ and the triumph of light over darkness.”
Christ is Risen! Sharing President @JoeBiden's Paschal greeting, a message reflecting the common hope of all people of the “triumph of light over darkness.” Grateful for the values of faith and the appreciation of Orthodoxy in our President. https://t.co/I3NjAFDYDA pic.twitter.com/ChTMHJORzj
— Elpidophoros (@Elpidophoros) May 3, 2021