THE MAKARIOS LEGACY IN KENYA

by Metropolitan Makarios (Tillyrides) of Kenya

 

Archbishop Makarios III of Cyprus

During his lifetime, the most contradictory views have been expressed concerning the personality and conduct of Archbishop Makarios. He was a classical example of the time-serving prelate, a superb diplomat who had an exceptional flair for appropriate conduct, a staunch defender of Orthodoxy and wise leader who helped the church to maintain its organization. His behavior often looked opportunist, but he was able to carry on his shoulders the heavy weight of responsibility for the conduct of ecclesiastical and political affairs during the most tragic and perplexing period of Cypriot history. His interest in expanding Orthodoxy in Africa is well known, and can only hope that the good work he started in this field will continue and bear fruit. His soul will forever rejoice with the progress and the expansion of the church all over Africa.

Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, died on 3rd August 1977.

“It is with profound shock and great sadness that I have learned of the tragic and untimely death of Archbishop Makarios. President Makarios’ life-long struggle for the true political independence of Cyprus, social and religious justice for all people and his personal devotion to the service of humankind were admired by the many friends who will remember him for a long time. The noble ideals and universal principles for which Archbishop Makarios lived should remain a guiding-light for the entire world. In his passing away Kenya has indeed lost an irreplaceable friend.” (Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, President of Kenya)

 

Building a Nation — Building a Church

In Cyprus as well as in Kenya — and perhaps universally too — the name Makarios will always be associated with the end of the era of Colonialism.

Cyprus was a very important place in the history of colonial rule. The leader of the struggle for the independence of the island was Archbishop Makarios, who was at the same time the head of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the “Ethnarch” — the leader of the Nation.

Kenya, at the same time, was also under colonial rule and the people or fighters, known as MauMau, were also trying to liberate Kenya from the British administration. Their leader was Jomo Kenyatta, a fervent nationalist and sincere fighter.

It was during the time of his exile that Archbishop Makarios tasted the need of establishing missionary work in Kenya. When he was freed from the Seychelles Islands, he spent one week in Nairobi on his way to Athens. It was then that he met the Kenyan people for the first time and made public statements about freedom and justice to those under British administration.

On Sunday 14th April 1957, Archbishop Makarios celebrated the divine liturgy in the Cathedral of Sts. Anargyroi, Nairobi, thus becoming the first Orthodox bishop ever to officiate in that church. This day will remain a memorable ecclesiastical event in Kenya.

 

Official Visit to Kenya — January 1970

In January 1970, Archbishop Makarios paid an official visit to Kenya as the guest of President Kenyatta. He was given the warm welcome of a hero and national leader. Upon his arrival at the airport, African Orthodox priests were waiting to welcome him. As Archbishop Makarios came to know of the existence of the African Orthodox Church, he felt the need to spread the Orthodox faith and love; the spirit of peace and freedom, which was his deepest wish and desire.

On his way back to Cyprus Archbishop Makarios made the following statement:

“What especially moved me is the fact that in the eastern region of Africa there are there are thousands of Africans who follow the Orthodox faith. I sincerely believe that Greece can contribute to the christianizing of hundreds of thousands of Africans and through Orthodoxy the Greek spirit will shed light through the immense African continent.”

Archbishop Makarios was already showing his deepest desire, which he would very soon communicate to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, as the whole of the African continent was under its jurisdiction.

On July 1970, Patriarch Nicholas of Alexandria paid an official visit to the Church of Cyprus. Archbishop Makarios speaking to the press made the following remarks:

Answer 1: Through the visit in Cyprus of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Alexandria Nicholas, the friendly ties existing since ancient times between the Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Church of Cyprus became stronger. In addition, wide areas of co-operation were delineated.

We have exchanged opinions  with the Patriarch on the advancement of the missionary work of the Patriarchate in Eastern Africa. I think that the Church of Cyprus is in a position to contribute in the effort of the Patriarchate to spread the Orthodox Christian Faith among the indigenous population of the African continent and especially in the Eastern African countries where already a few thousand Africans have accepted Orthodoxy. For this purpose, the Archbishopric of Cyprus is ready to contribute in the establishment of a Theological Seminary in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi.

In my recent visit in Eastern Africa I realized that there is a vast field for the development of such missionary action. We are also in a position to help, although in small measure, with the provision of priests and teachers from Cyprus for the fulfillment of the spiritual needs of the Greek Communities under the Patriarchate. Moreover, when we have a School of Theology in Cyprus, the establishment of which has already been decided, this will also serve as a spiritual source for the Patriarchate of Alexandria as well, and it will significantly contribute in providing for human resources and offering spiritual support to it.

Beyond the co-operation of the two sister Churches in the spiritual and educational fields, we are willing to support the Patriarchate financially, as well. We are aware of the difficult conditions and the financial problems the Patriarchate of Alexandria is facing. We will help the Patriarch in his plans for development of the space of the old buildings of the Monastery of St. Savvas in a way that it will provide a sustainable income for the Patriarchate.

 

Private visit to Kenya — March 1971

“The Cypriot leader, who arrived here on Friday on a three day private visit, has every reason — as he said in Embakasi — to feel comparatively at home in Kenya… the Archbishop said he was happy to be in Kenya briefly, secure in the belief that the Orthodox community were winning because Kenya’s Uhuru struggle was entering its most crucial phase. Most of the local ‘Karinga’ (who were also known as Independent and Orthodox) denominational leaders and educators, among them some of the ordained priests now playing host to President Makarios, were in detention. President Makarios’ visit should be able to disabuse those who in their calculated ignorance misinterpret African-Christian-Orthodoxy as ‘paganism’.” (Henry Gathigira, “Makarios quite right to feel at home” — Sunday Nation, 21st March, 1971).

 

An Offering to the Youth of Africa — The Foundation Stone of the Theological Seminary is Laid

Before leaving Cyprus for Kenya, (March 1971), Archbishop Makarios made the following statement:

“The purpose of my visit to Kenya is of purely religious nature and importance. I am going to Nairobi where today I shall lay the foundation stone of a Seminary to be built by the Cypriot Archbishopric. The Seminary will greatly contribute, I believe, to the promotion of missionary work in East Africa. The Seminary will cater for African youth, who, once educated in the Orthodox Religion, will subsequently serve as priests and missionaries on the African continent.

I realized the possibilities of developing missionary work in Africa a year ago, during my state visit to East African countries. I have since had the idea that the establishment of a well-organized Seminary would be a significant contribution to this end. The idea has been readily adopted by H.B. Patriarch Nicholas of Alexandria, under whose jurisdiction comes the Orthodox Church all over Africa. The realization of this idea has also been encouraged by the fact that the Kenyan government has made available a suitable site for the construction of the Seminary and particularly by the very favorable attitude of President Jomo Kenyatta towards the project.

The existence of a very wide field for Christians in Africa is also evidenced by the fact that Africans have been joining the Orthodox Church in large numbers. During my three-day stay in Kenya, I shall conduct mass christenings of some 5,000 natives in two towns. It can be said that there has been no similar event since the christianisation of the Slavs. And I am certain that many thousands of Africans may adopt Orthodoxy. I am glad that the Church of Cyprus has been given the divine blessing and privilege to be able to contribute to the development of missionary work in African countries.”

 

An Apostle of the African Nation

As a modest and unassuming man, Archbishop Makarios, full of charm and kindness, inspired many among the Africans and elsewhere, and linked his life with the missionary work in Africa in such a strong way that the locals consider him as an Apostle of the African Nation. He did indeed manifest all his charisma and used it to increase the Orthodox faith in Africa as a duty of his ecclesiastical mission to the world.

 

Mass Baptism

On two occasions, during his visit to Kenya in 1971, he performed mass baptisms of more than 5,000 people, mostly of the Kikuyu tribe. The ceremonies took place at Waithaka and Nyeri.

Archbishop Makarios communicated with the local Archbishop, Metropolitan Nicodimos, through the following letter:

 

His Eminence

The Metropolitan of Irinoupolis Mgr. Nicodimos,

c/o The Honorary Consul of Cyprus

Filios Grammenopoulos,

Muthaiga Road, P.O. Box 30515,

Nairobi

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya notified us that his Government accepted with pleasure our petition for the provision of land for the establishment of a Theological Seminary. We are in the process of finalizing the matter and we intend to visit Nairobi soon. Dr. Mistidis informed us that in the next few days thousands of indigenous people from Nyeri and Riruta will join Orthodoxy. We will be pleased if Your dear Eminence postponed the baptisms for a few days in order to give to us also the joy of participating in the ceremony of baptism, to coincide with the laying of the foundation stone of the Seminary.

 

Nicosia, I February 1971

MAKARIOS OF CYPRUS

 

At the same time, Archbishop Makarios also sent the following letter to Patriarch Nicholas:

 

Your Beatitude the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, beloved to me and most erudite brother and co-celebrant, Mgr. Nicholas,

During the recent visit in Cyprus of Your beloved to us Beatitude, we gave You the promise to contribute within our capabilities in the development of the missionary work of the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria in Africa. As a first step toward realization of this promise, we decided to build in the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, an Orthodox Theological Seminary for the Orthodox indigenous people of Eastern Africa.

We already contacted the Government of Kenya which has given a large piece of land suitable for building this Seminary. His Eminence the Metropolitan of Irinoupolis Mgr. Nicodimos has been informed of the steps taken. Following the successful outcome of our actions, we have instructed an Architectural firm in Cyprus to prepare plans for the above-mentioned Seminary, which we will present to the Holy Metropolitan of Irinoupolis before their final approval.

Because the above-mentioned, our dear brother-in-Christ requested for us to visit his province as soon as possible and strengthen his God-pleasing work morally and materially, we recently decided to travel to Nairobi on the 19th of March for a four-day visit, during which we will lay the foundation stone of the above-described Seminary. We have arranged this visit together with the Government of Kenya and His Eminence the Metropolitan of Irinoupolis.

Having orderly communicated the above to Your dear Beatitude, we are convinced that You  will also rejoice at this news.

Asking for Your prayers and blessings for the success of the goals of our trip, we embrace you and remain your's, Your Beatitude and brother in Christ,

Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus, 8 March 1971

MAKARIOS OF CYPRUS

 

After the performance of those baptisms it was reported in the African press that:

“….there had been requests by members of the Orthodox Church all over the country for Archbishop Makarios to baptize them…. This will not be possible because of his departure for Nicosia tonight… His Beatitude, the President of the Republic Archbishop Makarios, yesterday conducted mass christenings of 1,000 Africans, men and women of all ages, in an atmosphere of devout concentration at a suburb of Nairobi… All members of His Beatitude’s entourage acted as godfathers to one or more children, most of them chose to be named Makarios. His Beatitude gave a silver cross to each and every one baptized.”

 

A Theological Seminary and a Technical School

On 22nd March 1971, Archbishop Makarios laid the foundation stone of the Orthodox Seminary in Riruta, outside Nairobi. At the end of the ceremony, he gave the following address:

“Your Excellencies, dear brothers, ladies and gentlemen — When, a year ago, I visited this country, at the kind invitation of my friend President Jomo Kenyatta, I had the opportunity to meet many African Orthodox Christians and also Orthodox Christians in other countries of East Africa, with whom I discussed their religious problems. These meetings and discussions led me to the idea of establishing a Theological Seminary in Nairobi, which would serve the religious needs of the Orthodox Church in East Africa. And today, with the blessing of God, I place the foundation stone of the Seminary of this beautiful site, which was so generously made available for this purpose by the government of Kenya. Our action today in founding this Seminary is to help our African brothers in their search for the ways of God in Christian virtue and brotherhood. With the blessings of Almighty God we create here a center from which new Apostles of Christ will spread the word of the Lord in this part of the world and administer the comforting joy of the gospel in the hearts of our beloved African brothers.

This Seminary, beyond the religious purpose which it will serve, will constitute a symbol and an expression of a permanent link of friendship and brotherhood between the people of Kenya and the people of Cyprus. The foundation of this Seminary constitutes yet another corner-stone in the consolidation of the existing friendly relations between our two countries; relations that have been founded by the belief in common ideals and common struggles.

I am deeply grateful to President Kenyatta and the government of Kenya for the generous gesture in making available this splendid terrain, thus making my idea of establishing this Seminary a reality. I also wish to express my warm thanks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Dr. Mungai, for his valuable contribution to this project, and to all those who have helped in various ways.

Parallel to the Seminary, I have plans for the establishment of a Technical School for Kenyan boys and girls. I believe that such an institution will contribute in a small way to the efforts of the great leader of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, to develop the technical and industrial possibilities of this wonderful country. We, in Cyprus, are following with great interest the untiring efforts of the government of Kenya and especially of its inspired leader to make this country prosperous and happy. A great deal has already been achieved in many fields since Kenya has gained its freedom.

And now, with the blessings of God, I place this foundation stone of the Orthodox Christian Seminary with the wish to have the joy of inaugurating it in the future.”

The proclamation of the foundation read as follows:

“In the Glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The President of the Republic of Kenya being H.E. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa being H.B. Nicholas VI and the Bishop in the Holy Archbishopric of Irinoupolis being the Metropolitan Nicodimos, today in the day of the week being Monday the twenty-second of the month of March of the year of our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-one in a holy ceremony and by the hand of H.B. the Archbishop of Cyprus and President of the Republic of Cyprus, Makarios III, the foundation stone was laid of this Theological Seminary in Nairobi which is to be built by the expense of the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus.”

Metropolitan Nicodimos made the following speech that very historic day:

Your Beatitude, the Archbishop of New Justinian and All Cyprus, Mgr. Makarios. We offer hymns and doxologies to the Founder of our most Holy Church, our Lord Jesus Christ, on this notable day and holy moment during which we see with great joy and gratitude the brotherly and most kind assistance which the Church of the martyr Apostle Barnabas promised a year ago to her sister Church of the martyr Apostle and Evangelist Markos, to be materializing.

We are especially elated and rejoicing, Your Beatitude and Holy Brother, because among the Hierarchs of the autocephalous Orthodox Churches you are the First Who is visiting this remote comer of the African continent in which the Holy Metropolis of Irinoupolis does its mission work, and thus justifiably could be called a Missionary Metropolis, and with a heart pulsating with holy and humanitarian feelings and with pure and guileless intentions comes to the assistance of Orthodox brothers in need in the titanic work which is taking place here through the grace of God.

You are the Orthodox Hierarch who does not only knows how to struggle for the noble ideals of the Hellenic-Christian spirit and civilization, but also the only one who has suffered everything for these ideals.

Your love to our most Holy Orthodoxy, Your open mind and Your intuition for holy and great work led Your steps here, and with the intelligence and wisdom which are characteristics of Yours, You are taking on the great project of founding and radically restructuring the Orthodox Seminary, which is destined to become a light for all Africa in spreading the messages of our Hellenic Orthodox Faith to our African brothers throughout this continent.

Through this work, and like another Pantainos, Origen and Athanasios the Great, you are transmitting the Orthodox Christian truth to our African brothers thus making them partake of the high truth of the sweet Jesus of Nazareth.

Most respected Holy Brother,

Our joy is so great that not only me personally, but also my flock, cannot find words to express our gratitude to You, the Great National Ethnarch.

Through this help of Yours, and through the expression of Your love for the mission work of my Metropolis, through Your generositv. through Your most kind gesture, allow us to consider You a Great Benefactor of the Metropolis of Irinoupolis, and ardently wish that Lord our God grant You health and length of days, for the glory of our dear Orthodoxy and our beloved country, the eternal Greece.

Your four-day visit here allowed Your Beatitude, holy Brother, to observe the life and action of our holy mission. You saw the difficulties we are facing, You are a witness of the numerous kinds of impediments and difficult-to-solve problems we are dealing with. We are begging You to become, after your departure from here, a herald of all these things you saw with your own eyes, so that the everywhere pan-orthodox  flock of our most Holy Church is moved to come and assist us in our work for which we strive day and night.

Holy Angel of the Church of Cyprus,

Allow me to express to You the brotherly gratitude of His Beatitude, my Venerable Father and Master, the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Mgr. Nicolaos the VI; of the Holy Synod of the Church of the beloved  Throne of Apostle Mark; of my devout flock; and mine personally, and assure You that we will never forget this great and kindest assistance from You.

Finally in conclusion I  wish that God our Lord grant to your struggles bright and glorious success.

I also beg that you carry the brotherly greetings of my flock in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to our Cypriot brothers and assure them that we all pray to our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ, to help them in their most noble struggle.

May the years of His Beatitude Makarios, the most Eminent Archbishop of New Justinian and All Cyprus be many!

The same morning the President of Kenya had met Archbishop Makarios and said that the Archbishop's name was like a passport throughout Kenya, whose people considered His Beatitude as a symbol of struggle and a fighter for world freedom. President Kenyatta also expressed great joy for the spreading of Christianity in Kenya by Archbishop Makarios and said that he, himself was a Christian.

 

Common struggle for freedom

Early in the morning of 23rd March, Archbishop Makarios, on his arrival at Nicosia International airport, made the following statement: "My short visit to Kenya has been for me a religious experience that I shall always recall with emotion. Thousands of Africans of every age, families and individuals, have adopted the Christian Orthodox Religion through baptism. Within two days, I conducted mass christenings of more than 5,000 persons. And the numerous arrival to the christening would continue for days, if it were possible to prolong my stay in the country.

The mass christenings conducted constitute an event that will occupy a position in our Church history and, especially, in the history of foreign missionary work by the Orthodox Church. A black Orthodox Church is being built and expanded at this moment in the eastern part of the African continent. And the flock of this Church will, in the future, will number millions of Africans. I am glad that among the godfathers of this African Church is the Church of Cyprus.

My visit to Kenya was of a religious nature and had no official character from the political point of view. However, there were many friendly manifestations towards Cyprus both by the Government and the people. Yesterday morning, I had a meeting of common interest in a cordial atmosphere. The laying of the foundation stone of the Seminary was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Mr. Mungai, who in an address to the gathering referred to Cyprus' and Kenya's liberation struggles and stressed the friendly bonds between the two countries."

 

Seminary completed a month before the "coup d'état"

The construction of the Seminary was completed in June 1974, a month before the "coup d'etat" against Archbishop Makarios. Archbishop Makarios spent about five months in exile, during which he was trying to find a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem. When he returned to Cyprus in December 1974, the island was in great distress, owing to the two invasions by Turkey. He did everything he could: he used all his qualities and gifts to improve the conditions of the 200,000 refugees.

Therefore, the Seminary was not in a position to open, but when the general situation was improving he decided to start preparing the function of the school.

On the 29th of March, 1971, Archbishop Makarios speaking at the session of the synod of the Church of Cyprus said:

Talking about joining the Christian flock, we wish, dear Brothers, to share with you the joy we personally experienced when a few days ago we visited Kenya. With God's blessing, we conducted mass baptisms of about five thousand indigenous people who all became through the holy baptism members of the Orthodox Christian Church. We were moved when we confirmed that many more thousand of the indigenous population were ready to accept the Orthodox faith. These mass baptisms constitute the beginning of the firm establishment and extension in the Eastern part of Africa of an Orthodox Church which will possibly soon count millions of faithful. We are rejoicing because the Church of Cyprus is one of the godparents of this African Orthodox Church. In order to contribute to the development of missionary work in Africa, we decided to build a Theological Seminary at the expense of the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus, and we already set its foundation. This Seminary will be preparing priests and missionaries for the advancement of the Orthodox Christian Religion in the African continent. We have no doubt that this work has the blessings and the support of the members of the Holy Synod.

On another occasion Archbishop Makarios visited privately Kenya and on  his departure day, the 17th of September 1972 made the following statement:

"After a four-day stay in Seychelles, on my return I remained in Nairobi for two days. I met the President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta and I had unofficial meetings with other Government officials. During my stay in the capital of Kenya, I dealt with issues concerning the soon-to-be-completed Theological Seminary and I was also present at a large assembly of indigenous people who had accepted the Orthodox Christian Faith. My contact with the indigenous Orthodox strengthened my conviction in the great possibility for spreading the Orthodox Church in the African continent."

Archbishop Makarios communicated the following information to the Patriarchate of Alexandria:

Your Beatitude the Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, beloved to me and most erudite brother and co-celebrant, Mgr. Nicolaos,

It is with great joy that we are informing Your beloved to us Beatitude, that the Theological Seminary under construction in Nairobi at the expense of the Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus, and whose foundation stone we set in March 1971, is nearing completion. Already the main wing of the College, consisting of the classrooms, has been completed. This College, as Your Beatitude is aware of, comprises, in addition to the classrooms and the Library, dormitory and residences for the teachers. There is provision in the plans for the erection of a Church and a building to house the Archbishopric.

With God's blessings, we will be in Kenya from the 9th of next month December, responding to invitation by the President of Kenya Mr. Jomo Kenyatta, to be present at the celebrations for the national day of the country. During the period of our visit we would like, if Your Beatitude approves, to hold the opening ceremony for the completed main wing of the above-mentioned College, and probably baptize a good number of indigenous people.

Before our travel to Kenya, we intend to send there His Grace Bishop of Constantia Mgr. Chrysostom, in order to do the necessary preparations together with the local Church administration. More information on this matter can be provided to Your Beatitude by our Assistant Bishop, the commissioner of the present letter.

Dutifully and orderly having communicated this to Your Beatitude, we are brotherly requesting , Your blessings and approval.

Additionally, in our wish to fulfill a promise given to Your Beatitude for the contribution of our Holy Archbishopric in the creation of sources to sustain the ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria through the development of the space which the old Patriarchal Building occupies, we are taking the opportunity to send along with the Bishop of Constantia, the Architect Mr. Andreas Philippou, in order for them to get informed of Your thoughts regarding this project, toward the realization of which we are happy to contribute.

Embracing You, we pray to God to keep and protect You for many years and in good health.

Holy Archbishopric of Cyprus,

27 November 1972

Your brother in Christ,

Makarios of Cyprus

August 1976

Archbishop Makarios’ next visit to Kenya was delayed due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and it was not until August 1976 that he had an opportunity to see the buildings of the Seminary as well as of the Technical School completed.

During his stay in Nairobi, (10th - 22nd August, 1976) Archbishop Makarios was present at a divine liturgy which was celebrated at the Holy Trinity church, Mugauga. In a sermon that he made on that occasion, he said:

“Once again I am visiting your country. My ties with Kenya go back to the days of my exile to the Seychelles, 20 years ago. At that time Kenya was a British Colony and the Kenyans, under the leadership of Jomo Kenyatta, were struggling for freedom and independence. When I was released from the Seychelles and on my way back I came to Nairobi, where I stayed for a week. Jomo Kenyatta with some leaders were then in prison. During my short stay, I visited camps where many freedom fighters were detained. I also met many leading personalities from whom I learnt certain details of the then prevailing situation. A few years later, your struggle for freedom was crowned with success and Kenya got its independence and so did my country, Cyprus.

Kenya now under the leadership of the great leader, Jomo Kenyatta, is making significant strides towards development and progress. Cyprus and Kenya since their independence have developed and maintained very friendly relations and have co-operated in many fields.”

During my official visit here, at the kind  invitation of President Kenyatta, I conceived the idea of establishing a Christian Orthodox Seminary to meet the needs of the African faithful. With the permission of the Government and the blessings of Patriarch Nicholas of Alexandria, under whose jurisdiction comes the diocese of Irinoupolis and the entire Orthodox Church in Africa, I founded the Seminary in Nairobi. I planned this short stay here on my way back from the Colombo Conference to exchange views with your Metropolitan Most Reverend Froumentios, and to make arrangements for the opening of the Seminary that was completed three years ago. I hope that by next January the Seminary will function and will receive students from Kenya and East Africa generally. The students will be prepared for priesthood. I shall have the pleasure of being with you again at the official opening of the Seminary.

Taking this opportunity, I wish to convey to you and to all Kenyans heartfelt greetings from the people of Cyprus and the expression of our appreciation for the stand of the Government and the people of Kenya on the Cyprus problem. President Kenyatta proved a trusted friend of Cyprus at critical moments. As you know, my country has been invaded by Turkey and a great part of Cyprus is now under Turkish occupation. Turkey violated the independence and territorial integrity of my country and the people of Cyprus are striving once again for freedom. In our struggle we have the support and solidarity of all freedom-loving countries and Kenya is among the first. Despite the many difficulties, we do not lose hope that we will be able to restore our territorial integrity. We are determined, not to submit to brutal force. Justice may have been trampled upon temporarily but, at the end, it will prevail. God is just, and He will see that justice is done.

Once again my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I express my thanks for the warm welcome and the manifestations of your love to me and to my country. I bestow upon you the blessings of the Church of Cyprus. May the Grace of God be always with you and may the Spirit inspire and guide you in your life."

 

Orthodoxy in East Africa — the Role of Archbishop Makarios

Future historians will assess Makarios’ great role in establishing a good relationship with Africa and especially Kenya, when he baptized thousands into the Orthodox faith and founded the Theological Seminary. His remarkable work for the African people and his contribution to the expansion of Orthodoxy were much appreciated by the African people as well as by the leaders of other Orthodox churches.

The full significance of the meaning of the life of Archbishop Makarios, his work for Africa and the renewal of Christian vision, is something which cannot yet be seen, but which we may come to see if we are faithful to the vision that he himself both saw and followed.

He dreamed of an Africa full of the light of Orthodoxy through his love for all human beings — nothing is lost of what has gone before, but all is transfused with a new light in the completeness of the picture in the Heavenly Glory.

 

The Makarios Theological Seminary Today

Much hope rests in the Makarios Seminary for the future needs of the rapidly growing East African Orthodox missions.

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