My name is Matina Sakkas. I am the daughter of Vassili Sakkas, a retired priest of the Greek Orthodox Church. My father when he was still a priest and thereafter has always been committed to a small nun’s monastery located in the region of Athens; and he has assisted them with routine tasks whenever he could and visited often over decades.
As a child I have had the unique privilege of visiting and staying in the monastery a few times.
Lately, Vassili, my father, has sent our family an urgent e-mail telling us that the monastery had been the victim of arson. More precisely, the criminals have put 25 gas cylinders in the vicinity of the monastery at night, and managed to burn the place down.
Fortunately enough, none of the nuns were hurt as they found shelter in the middle of the forest in a tank which luckily enough they had previously emptied in order to clean. The tank itself is near a pond and this certainly contributed in keeping them safe. However, the monastery is badly damaged and the petrol reserve which they kept for winter is gone with the flames.
It appears that the incendiaries act in order to steal the land from their owner, and it appears this act is one among many lately, as the offenders are rarely caught.
It is appalling that Greek laws have flaws which encourage ruthless entrepreneurs to willingly take the risk of destroying ancient religious communities, their typical buildings and beautiful chapels, as well as threaten human lives and destroying natural environment in order to achieve despicable, financial goals.
Hence, today, my family and I have decided to communicate this information with as many people as we can, as we feel it is our duty to help put an end to this nonsense.
The aim of the campaign is to collect funds which we will distribute equally among the monasteries victims of arson. We feel strongly that bringing our help to all of them will reinforce public awareness as well as more care from more volunteers.
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