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Ecumenical Patriarch expresses sympathy and prayers to Japanese nation for recent tragedy and ongoing crisis

BARTHOLOMEW
BY THE MERCY OF GOD
ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE-NEW ROME
AND ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH

To the Honorable Consul General of Japan in Istanbul, Mr. Katsuyoshi Hayashi, our dear friend: Grace and peace from above.

It is with heavy heart that we communicate with Your Honor in order to convey our sincerest and fervent sympathy for the tragedy that has befallen your blessed and progressive nation in recent days.

Together with the rest of the world, our attention has been focused on the devastation, death and suffering that resulted from the unprecedented earthquake and powerful tsunami of biblical proportion that so mercilessly struck Japan, with the inconsolable consequences of discovering and mourning the deceased, the overwhelming task of searching for and saving the missing, as well as the frightening prospect of securing and containing the damaged and dangerous nuclear reactors.

Therefore, we write in order, through you, to express to your Government and Prime Minister Naoto Kan, our condolences on behalf of the Ecumenical Patriarchate but also our prayers for continued strength in the painful work of rebuilding the affected areas and restoring the spirit of your suffering nation.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, March 21, 2011

Prayerfully yours,

+ BARTHOLOMEW
Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch