The abhorrence of war and its accompanying tragedies is wholly supported by the spiritual and moral tenets of the Orthodox Church.
Notwithstanding this, Orthodoxy has often, over its long history, found itself at the very crossroads of national and international turmoil and persecution which made war eventually inevitable. While the Church abhors the making of war it must consider the larger alternative of evil which history has proven time and time again cannot be averted.
Therefore, with the exception of students preparing for the priesthood, the Church has never taken a position preventing its members from serving in the Armed Forces.
Those seeking to apply for the status of Conscientious Objector must do so on the basis of personal belief and conviction nourished on the highest ideals of the Christian Gospel. These do not only forbid participation in the taking of life—an action necessitated by war—but the desire to attain the highest possible spiritual perfection in and through Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. A candidate for the status of conscientious objector must proclaim that any other classification would infringe upon and frustrate his spiritual aspirations, and that service to one's country in a humanitarian capacity is the preferred alternative.
Any request for a statement as to individual character and religious commitment must be acquired from the local Greek Orthodox Church Priest who is personally familiar with the life of the candidate.
(Statement by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America)
For further information, contact: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, 8-10 East 79th
Street, New York, NY 10021; <firstname.lastname@example.org>; www.goarch.org