Three thousand Cypriot citizens go out into the streets and fight for their right to remain in the middle ages, a time when invaders exploited the inhabitants until they were starving and ‘ambelopoulia’ may have appeared to them as manna sent from heaven.
Can we simply ignore that in the course of the last thousand years the flora and fauna – not only worldwide but also in Cyprus – have changed and that wildlife and consequently human life is in danger?
Did not one of the 3000 protesters, not even the Mayor of Paralimni or at least the Archimandrite Avgoustinos Karras think of our responsibility as humans to save this beautiful planet, to protect this beautiful island from human greed and, not to forget, from cruelty? Would you like to be hung up by your feet to die? Do you, maybe, think animals do not feel pain?
It is an open secret that quite a few of the lovers of limesticks do not torture birds just for a nice Sunday meal, but to fill their pockets. Do the 2.3 million songbirds killed per year in Cyprus belong to the citizens of this republic only, or might the citizens of the European countries, Africa and the Near East not have a right to enjoy their beauty and their songs? Apart from that, they have a task to fulfil to keep nature in equilibrium.
What about laws? Can we apply for funds from the European Union and at the same time not respect European law?
And a last interesting reminder: in 1989 the Orthodox Church instituted a World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. It has been celebrated on September 1 every year since, even by other christian churches. This year, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis made a joint statement: “The earth was entrusted to us as a sublime gift, for which all of us share responsibility.”
I would like to entreat his Holiness, the Archimandrite Avgoustinos Karras of the Constantia Bishopric, who understandably feels close to his parishioners, to study this statement with an open heart and to lead his flock to growing awareness and good practices in the service of creation.
US, via email