For Immediate Release: July 29, 2013
Contact: John Rigas, Friends of Esphigmenou, email@example.com
CORRECTING THE RECORD ON THE ATTACKS TODAY AGAINST THE ESPHIGMENOU MONKS
ATHENS, GREECE -- Statement from John Rigas, President of Friends of Esphigmenou Monastery on Mt. Athos:
"I just spoke with one of the Esphigmenou monks, Father Sava, and want to correct the record about the ongoing attacks against the monastery today.
This morning, a group of around 20 large armed men armed attacked the Esphigmenou monastery building in Karyes, Mt. Athos where the monks were engaged in quiet prayer. This is the 12th day that the monastery has been under siege. The monks twice asked for the men to leave in peace after a city clerk attempted to serve them with eviction papers. Then the 20 large men attempted to smash their way into the monastery building with a construction bulldozer. As you can see in the video, uniformed Greek police stood around while a bulldozer attacked the property and attempted to smash down the front door:
This bulldozer came within 15 centimeters of killing a defenseless monk (who was behind the door and did sustain injuries) with its steel blade .
Contrary to media reports, they did NOT throw any bombs. I specifically asked Fr. Sava about these alleged “bombs” and he said that they do not have bombs and did not throw any bombs. It appears Greek government officials are trying to cover up their complicity in these lawless and criminal activities by spreading false reports to media outlet now that their nefarious activity has been exposed. The video of the attack shows that there is no evidence of bombs or aggressive action by the monks.
UPDATE: More than 80 armed Greek police currently surround monastery building filled with peaceful monks who only want to be left alone to pray. Now the government has cut off their water supply. The monks continue to pray for peace and ask for the prayers of the faithful and appeal to the Mother of God for protection.
Monks at Esphigmenou have already died at the hands of the government due to lack of food, water and medical supplies. Now the government almost killed a monk today with a bulldozer. The Greek government needs to focus on getting its economy back on track -- wasting taxpayer Euros on persecuting innocent monks needs to stop today.”