In a letter His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, expresses his congratulations on the occasion of the recent successes of the Greek Sportsmen Giannis Antetokounmpo and Emmanuel Karalis and states that the living church, in the face of modern reality, monitors and supports through its spiritual words and its loving role, all the manifestations of human existence and especially sports and the noble rivalry that emerges through it.

Sport has always been the cornerstone of the peaceful coexistence of peoples, solidarity and mutual understanding of cultures and mentalities.

The struggles of these youngsters send a very important message to all of humanity.

           The Letter follows:

Mr. Giannis Antetokounmpo,
Champion (National Basketball Association) and
Mr. Emmanuel Karalis,
Track and Field Champion

My children,

It is with great pleasure that I contact you from the historic city of Alexandria, to congratulate you on your recent successes and to express on behalf of the Orthodox Church of Africa warm congratulations for what you have achieved so far in your sporting career.

We are also proud of you, because the strong heartbeat of the African lion beats in your heart, but also the pulse of the athletes of Ancient Greece and the inspirers of the modern Olympic Games. You are the pre-eminent ambassadors of “fair play” and the sporting ideal. 

The Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa tries through its various activities, especially in its sports academies, to pass on the same spirit to all the children of Africa.

I bless you and greet you from See of St Mark and I pray that God will bless you, protect you and always give you success and all of us together wish you ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius” – "Faster, Higher, Stronger" – (Pierre de Coubertin).


Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa