Lebanon Appeal - To be read from the pulpit July 25, 2006

The Most Reverend Metropolitan PHILIP Archbishop of
New York and Metropolitan of All North America

The Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian
Archdiocese of North America
358 Mountain Road
P.O. Box 5238
Englewood, NJ 07631-5238
Telephone (201) 871-1355 - Fax (201) 871-7954
Website: www.antiochian.org
Email: archdiocese@antiochian.org

July 25, 2006

Brother Hierarchs, Reverend Clergy, Esteemed Members
of the Archdiocese Board of Trustees, Parish Councils
and God-fearing Faithful of our Archdiocese:

Greetings in the name of our Lord, God and Savior
Jesus Christ. It is with great sadness and a heavy
heart that I write to you while the bombs are falling
on Lebanon. As you have been hearing in the media
(i.e. television, newspapers and the internet),
Lebanon is being systematically destroyed, both the
infrastructure and, more importantly, the people.
Everyone agrees that the result is a humanitarian
disaster for the people of Lebanon.

As of today, there are close to 400 Lebanese men,
women and children who have been killed. The number of
displaced Lebanese is approaching one million! We see
in the news men, women and children being killed,
maimed and burned by phosphate bombs. At the same
time, Red Cross ambulances carrying the sick and
wounded are being targeted; airports, communications
systems, bridges and roads have been destroyed and
entire neighborhoods have been leveled. To put things
in real and human terms, we were recently informed of
one of our faithful from the Archdiocese of Zahle who
was driving with his two children. An Israeli bomb hit
their car, seriously injuring the father and one child
and killing the other, a 15 year old boy. Just
yesterday, a family of eight was killed in their home
by an Israeli bomb. These are but two stories from
among thousands.

My beloved faithful, Lebanon is part of our
Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East. So many of
the people of our Archdiocese have their spiritual and
cultural roots in Lebanon and especially in Beirut and
South Lebanon (such as Jdeidet Marj’ayoun) where the
majority of the destruction is taking place.
Yesterday, I spoke with Metropolitan ELIAS of Beirut
and he told me of the deplorable and dire conditions
in his archdiocese and the Archdiocese of Tyre and
Sidon (South Lebanon). He asked for our fervent
prayers and help for Lebanon. I assured him of our
unceasing prayers and that we will do our part to
help. Therefore, I appeal to you to give generously to
help the suffering people of Lebanon.

Finally, as we prepare to begin the Dormition Fast on
August 1, let us beseech the most-holy Theotokos to
intercede for the suffering people of Lebanon.

Your Father in Christ,

+Metropolitan PHILIP Archbishop of New York and
Metropolitan of all North America

Please make your checks payable to your local parish,
marking them “Lebanon Relief.”