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The Church is invincible, for the gates of hell shall not prevail. It is a solemn promise. We have heard and we have rejected all the old and all the new philosophies of all the centuries, the same fables, fictions, compromises, manmade religions, the same old ideologies.

In ancient times, the world threw at us the ‘irrational’ East, with its cruel, disincarnate and transcendent ‘gods’, and the ‘rational’ West, with its all too incarnate and immanent ‘vicars of God’. More recently, but in the same way, we suffered ‘irrational’ Communism and ‘rational’ Nazism. But we have overcome them all, because Christ has overcome them all and we are His. And any ‘new idea’ they have will fall and fail in exactly the same way, if it is not of Christ. For they are of Babylon, but we are of Jerusalem. And we shall be here unto the end of time, but they will not.

Here, in the wind and the sunshine, by the waves splashing on the North Sea shingle shores, we cry that Christ is Risen. And elsewhere the cry is exactly the same:

In the heart of ancient Jerusalem, over the swaying grasslands of endless steppes, in sundrenched Syrian towns, on the lapping Adriatic shores of Montenegro, through the vastness of the Siberian taiga, in the valleys of Bulgaria, in the cool, whitewashed churches on Aegean islands, by the gurgling mountain streams coming down from all across the Orthodox Carpathians, by the sands of the Latvian Baltic, by forest tracks in Slovakia and cool lake waters in Belarus, in the hills of Georgia, beneath South Pacific skies, in the far Arctic north by the White Sea where the snows have yet to melt, in the backstreets in Brazilian cities, in the Cathedral in Sydney through windows where the cockatoos cry, in the heat of mission churches in the Congo, in the fogs of San Francisco, at the Cathedral in Tokyo, in market towns in Bukovina and the great cities of Western Europe and North America, from the Caspian to the Baikal, over the desert and in the green fields, among the Orthodox seafarers on great ocean-going ships, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the same voices of the Orthodox family, bearded priests in white, headscarved girls in spring frocks, men striding in Easter procession, grandmothers with little children dressed in their Resurrection best, we all confess the only Truth that matters, that truly Christ is Risen.

And in so doing we echo the thousands of millions of Orthodox voices that have gone before us through twenty centuries and, undoubtedly, now join with us in singing the same Eternal Truth, the Truth that empties hell and fills heaven. And inasmuch as the earth desires to be heaven, the cry of Eternal Truth fills the earth also. The music is returning with the Faith and the very earth sings with us the same refrain, in the one cosmic symphony: Christ is Risen!



+ Alexy II, Patriarch Of Moscow And All Russia

+ Bartholomew, Archbishop Of Constantinople, New Rome And Ecumenical Patriarch

+ Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa

+ Pavle, Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch

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