Michael Prokurat, Alexander Golitzin, Michael D. Peterson
The A to Z of the Orthodox Church



MOUSKOS, MAKARIOS III, Archbishop of Cyprus (13 August 1913–2 August 1977). Hierarch and first president of Cyprus, he received his education at Kykko Monastery and the Pancyprian Gymnasium in Nicosia. Ordained to the diaconate on 7 August 1938, he studied theology and law at the University of Athens, and was ordained to the priesthood on 13 January 1946. He studied at the School of Theology of Boston University and while there, he was elected bishop of Kition. As bishop he opposed British rule and championed Cypriot union with Greece (Enosis), organizing a plebiscite in January 1950 that resulted in a resounding victory for union. On 18 October 1950, he became archbishop.

In 1955 he consented to a nonviolent sabotage campaign against the British, but when the violence escalated, the British deported him to the Seychelles (March 1956). He was released in March 1957 and settled in Athens. In 1958, under the threat of partitioning Cyprus between Greeks and Turks, he agreed to independence instead of union. On 13 December 1959, he was elected president along with a Turkish vice president. In December 1963, he proposed to amend the threatened constitution and fighting ensued. In March 1964, a United Nations peacekeeping force intervened. Despite the gravity of the situation, he was reelected president in 1968 and 1973. On 15 July 1974, his residence was attacked by Greek junta forces, but he escaped to Paphos and London. After the fall of the Greek dictatorship in 1974, he returned to Cyprus in triumph on 7 December. By that time, however, the Turks occupied two-fifths of the island and proclaimed a Turkish Federated State in 1975.


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