Archbishop Giorgios in his first Easter message, placed a heavy focus on the national issue, the ‘Turkification’ of the island and the influx of ‘Muslim immigrants’ channeled to the island by Turkey.

In the style of his predecessor, Archbishop Chrysostomos, Giorgios, in the message delivered at churches throughout the island, warned of the danger of ‘Turkification’ and called on people to mobilise in order to guarantee “national survival in the land of our ancestors”.

“Continuous retreats do not appease the conqueror, nor lead him to a compromise,” he said.

He referred to the “unacceptable demands of the occupying power and its representatives here” for the resumption of Cyprus talks, meaning negotiations on the basis of two states, Turkish moves to claim Varosha and the “intensifying settlement of the occupied areas” due to the homelessness from the recent earthquake in Turkey.

All of these things “increase the anxiety and the daily uncertainty of our people,” the Archbishop said.

“Who and by what criteria will deny, in the 21st century, the right to property, free movement and establishment in one’s own country when this right is guaranteed for all of Europe?” Who and by what criteria if we do not accept it, will justify what Turkey is doing? Who will overlook that our problem is one of invasion and occupation, when we give them the facts in good faith?”

“At the holiest moment of the ecclesiastical year, we appeal to everyone in the name of our homeland, which is at risk of the ultimate danger, the danger of Turkification, as well as in the name of our ancestors and our more than three thousand years of history, we call for rallying around a goal, which will guarantee our national survival in the ancestral land,” he added.

Giorgios also spoke about the “very serious danger” arising from the entry to Cyprus of “illegal Muslim immigrants who are deliberately channeled by Turkey with the aim of altering the demographic character”.

He said the danger here was “huge” with implications for education and the country’s economy. “We are neither racist nor xenophobic. We are defending our right to remain in the land of our fathers,” he said.

The Archbishop also said the joy of the Resurrection and its timeless messages of salvation were also being overshadowed again this year by the ongoing global economic recession, a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the pandemic.

But the resurrection, he said, teaches that beyond the grave, “there is another world, which gives deeper meaning to man’s life”, and that “sorrows and sufferings are temporary” and “the power of evil and anti-God forces are transitory.”