On June 18 we wrote to Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), as well as to many other Orthodox hierarchs and clergy, to bring to their attention our Open Letter of the day before. To the best of our knowledge, His Beatitude is the first Orthodox hierarch—writing on behalf of the entire Holy Synod of Bishops of the OCA—to take up the subject of our letter with President Trump. You may view the PDF of the original here.
We especially applaud His Beatitude’s emphasis on what it means to be truly pro-life:
As Christians, we are called to defend all life, be it the life of a fetus in the womb, the life of a child at the border, or the life of a mother fleeing violence and seeking a better life. Every one of these immigrants is a child of God.
Eis polla eti, Despota! Many Years, Master!
Letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to US President Donald Trump
Concerning the Separation of Families
June 19, 2018
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
I write to you asking compassion for the children and their parents now being separated and confined in detention centers as a result of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy. On behalf of these children—some of them infants and toddlers—and together with all the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, I ask that you reconsider this policy and allow families to be kept together while the immigration courts are considering their cases.
This past January you proved to be a champion of life when, addressing those gathered in Washington D.C. to proclaim the sanctity of life, you offered the following words: “Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life.” As Christians, we are called to defend all life, be it the life of a fetus in the womb, the life of a child at the border, or the life of a mother fleeing violence and seeking a better life. Every one of these immigrants is a child of God.
The United States of America is a nation of laws from which we derive great benefit. And because of this we enjoy many freedoms here, chief among them to us Christians, and others of faith, being the freedom to worship. We well understand the need to protect our borders and our cities, but surely there must be a better way to do so.
Mr. President, let us embrace the vision of President Ronald Reagan who, in his farewell address, likened our country to a city on a hill, a “God-blessed” city, a city that if needing walls, has walls with doors, doors “open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.” Surely, this is the vision of America to which we all aspire. In service to this vision I ask you again, in the name of compassion, to reconsider the government’s policy of zero tolerance.
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Metropolitan Tikhon (Mollard), Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, has been the primate of the Orthodox Church in America since 2012. You may view his full biography here.