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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 11, 1999


Orthodox Easter

I wish to send a warm message of greetings today to the six million Orthodox Christian Americans and the quarter-billion Orthodox Christians around the world, as they gather to proclaim that "Christ has Risen."

I know the feeling of joy that comes on Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the miracle of Jesus' Resurrection and His gift to us of eternal life. Yet I also understand that on this particular Easter Sunday, the joy Orthodox Christians feel may be mixed with other emotions: with sadness over the tragic events in and around Kosovo; and with fear for those whose lives may still be in danger. The majority of those forced from Kosovo in the last two weeks are Muslim, but among them are Catholics and Orthodox Christians, too. Our hearts and prayers must go out to all who have suffered. We hope and pray for the restoration of peace and a resolution based on democracy and tolerance.

On this holiest of days, when Orthodox Christians celebrate the triumph of life over death, of hope over despair, let us recommit to seeking peace, human rights and an end to suffering for people around the world.