On February 6, 2023 an earthquake struck central and southern Turkey, near the Syrian border, causing widespread destruction and loss of life. On Monday, the death toll was reported to have exceeded 35,000 people. Food is urgently needed and shelter has become a critical need as over a million people remain homeless as the crisis unfolds.
Orthodox communities have not been immune to the damage. According to Fadi Hurigil, the chairman of the cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Antioch, the “the bell fell, the call to prayer was silent, the church temple is under the collapse.” The high number of casualties has put immense pressure on the cathedral clergy, who have instructed parishioners to bring their dead to the cemetery for funeral services every day at 5:00 PM in order to keep pace.
On the day of the tragedy, His Beatitude sent letters of condolence to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and His Beatitude Patriarch John X. In the letters, His Beatitude expressed sadness on behalf of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America and assured them of our prayers.
His Beatitude asks you to consider a generous donation to help the victims of this tragedy so that “we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (2 Cor. 1:4).