RTCYPP Press Release 27.4.2021

RTCYPP Press Release 27.4.2021

The Religious Leaders of Cyprus that make up the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process (RTCYPP), jointly express their best wishes for the meetings starting today in Geneva to end the stalemate of the Cyprus peace process and resume the dialogue on the future of the island and pray for them.

“You are meeting at a holy time for Christians and Muslims; Easter and Ramadan, when we in Churches and Mosques all over our island ask for forgiveness, pray for our neighbor and believe in the possibility for a new life.

We assure you that we are following your deliberations closely and pray that God Almighty will guide you at every step.

After decades of conflict, mistrust, division & insecurity, we pray that God will guide you to walk in the path of wisdom and righteousness.

We call on you to pay special attention to the living religious heritage of our island and improve our possibility to access, use and restore our places of worship and cemeteries that have been separated from their worshipers as a result of the decade long unresolved Cyprus conflict.

Religion should not be divided according to political considerations. Christians and Muslims belong to the whole of the island and the religious heritage of Christian and Muslim monuments, next to each other, is a symbol of many hundred years of co-existence, mutual respect, and shared space.  We all have a responsibility to ensure that this mark of civilization is not ending with our generation.

We urge you to embark on a common journey of increased cooperation, dialogue, and empathy between our communities, for memories to heal, trust replacing fear and for hope to grow.”


International Day for Monuments and Sites – World Heritage Day 2021

On April 18 RTCYPP marks World Heritage Day 2021 and invites young people to join us to promote peace and learn all about the rich diverse religious heritage of Cyprus.
On this occasion, we highlight RTCYPP's first project “Peace in My Land” with youth, held exactly ten years ago in 2011, led by the head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II and Mufti Atalay of Cyprus. Through “Peace in My Land”, the youth demonstrated that they could discuss their complex past together; acknowledge the on-going pain caused by disrespecting the religious heritage of the other; commit to respect each other’s religious heritage and help transform their inherited complex past in order to build a future together united in diversity.
Inspired by the youth of “Peace in My Land” , we call on everyone to learn, appreciate and respect the significance of the rich diverse religious heritage of Cyprus.
The International Day for Monuments and Sites also known as World Heritage Day is an international observance held on 18 April each year around the world with different types of activities. This year’s theme is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures” The Office of RTCYPP is preparing to launch a new project on Religious Heritage of Cyprus and Youth. Stay Tuned for more.
More information: https://bit.ly/3agUc02

RTCYPP News 07.04.2021

RTCYPP News 07.04.2021

Religious Leaders of Cyprus are deeply saddened to hear the news that the grounds of the Armenian Monastery of St Magar were used for a live techno party on March 20th 2021, uploaded on YouTube on 7 April 2021.

The Religious Leaders of Cyprus condemn this unfortunate act and any misuse, disrespect and desecration of places of worship and cemeteries in Cyprus, irrespective of intention, religion, dogma & denomination.

The Religious Leaders reiterate their request that all places of worship and cemeteries, in use or not, are protected against vandalism, misuse and desecration.  Disrespecting places of worship and cemeteries creates pain, nurtures mistrust and becomes an obstacle to peaceful coexistence.

Background Note:

Sourp Magar Monastery is located in Halefka in the Pentadaktylos mountain range in Cyprus. This live techno party was organised by an event-planning group, that apparently organises and broadcasts electronic music events at entertainment venues, including historical and cultural locations. The event was recorded and uploaded on YouTube on 7 April 2021.

Sourp Magar is an Armenian Monastery is an 11th century Monastery founded by the Coptic Orthodox Church in memory of Saint Makarios the hermit of Alexandria. The Monastery was transferred to the Armenian Community in Cyprus during the 15th century and has belonged to and has been intrinsically linked to the community ever since.

St Magar Monastery has been left uncared for since 1974 and is in dire need of immediate protection, renovations and full restoration. It is the most important place of worship and pilgrimage for the Armenian community of Cyprus and the only Armenian Monastery in Cyprus.