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Bishop calls for unity during Apostle Andreas feast day liturgy
2004-11-30 11:09:32

Nicosia, Nov 30 (CNA) Pilgrims from all parts of Cyprus thronged a liturgy today at the Turkish occupied monastery of Apostle Andreas in the Karpass peninsula, where Bishop of Kykkos Nikiforos sent a message of love and reconciliation to Turkish Cypriots.

In his oration on the saint's feast day, Bishop Nikiforos said that ''in this abyss of silence for 30 years now, enclaved, refugees and non refugees, without being affected by pessimism, are here where the pulse of the people of Cyprus beats.''

Nikiforos said his monastery is willing to financially contribute to the restoration of the occupied monastery as soon as procedures are completed and all relevant decisions are taken.

The Greek Cypriot Bishop stressed the need for unity, noting that the people have to fight the ''disease of division'' and bring freedom back to the island so that the next generations can live in conditions of peace.

Turning his attention to Turkish Cypriots, Bishop Nikiforos said ''we love them, respect and appreciate them and desire a peaceful co-existence in a federal Cyprus.''

''We pray that Apostle Andreas will grace the powerful of the world and restore justice on the island,'' he said.

The Kykkos Bishopric choir chanted along during the liturgy in the packed church. It is estimated that around 1,300 Greek Cypriots from the government controlled areas and the occupied north attended the service, including teachers and students from the Greek Cypriot elementary and high school, which reopened in the Turkish occupied village of Rizokarpaso.

A number of ''policemen'' belonging to the occupation regime were dotted around the monastery site, among them the ''chief'' of the so-called police force.

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