The following is a translation of the letter (Jan. 20, 2010) of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to the Jewish community of Greece on the recent arson attacks on the historic synagogue, "Erz Hayyim" in Chania, Crete.
Chairman of the Central Israeli Council of Greece: grace and peace from God.
It is with profound sadness that we were informed at the Ecumenical Patriarchate about the new arson attempt against the building of the Hebrew Synagogue in the Old City of Chania.
Therefore, through this our Patriarchal Letter, we want you to know that we condemn this deed as any other deed of violence and terrorism and, particularly, against sites of the worship of God. Furthermore, we express to you the deep sympathy of our Most Holy Church of Constantinople and ours too, as well as our deeply felt compassion over this sad event. We pray to God to protect you and the Jewish community in Greece from every assault.
In closing, we invoke upon you the grace and infinite mercy of God.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America also made the following statement: