Gold Coast AHEPA Chapter 456 Hosts Dr. George Demacopoulos to discuss Orthodoxy and its Geopolitical Impact

On June 5th, 2024 the AHEPA Gold Coast Chapter 456 hosted Dr. George Demacopoulos, Professor of Theology at Fordham University, as a special event at Archangel Michael Church. The evening, which is a continuation of the Chapter’s commitment to hosting guest lecturers, was focused on the role Orthodox Christianity has played in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

The lecture was attended by dozens of people interested in understanding how the Orthodox Church and its parishioners have been manipulated to justify and bolster support for Russia’s invasion and continued war against the independent country of Ukraine.

During the presentation, Dr. Demacopoulos outlined how the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow are seen as close allies and how the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism has contributed to a rift between these Orthodox countries.

Dr. Demacopoulos, highlighted that the Russian population which strongly identifies as Orthodox has a small percentage of people that attend service or even believes in a god. Regardless, their identity is tightly intertwined with the church and has been used as justification for the continued conflict since the granting of Autocephaly (self-governorship) to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The audience was engaged and inspired with ample time for a question and answer period in which the talk broadened to discussion about Orthodoxy in the United States and its generational challenges. Following the presentation, there was a hosted reception with coffee and deserts.

The event was chaired by the President of Chapter 456, Gus Constantine and was co-hosted by Father John Lardos of Archangel Michael Church. Dr. Demacopoulos, Professor of Theology, is Co-Director of the Orthodox Christina Studies Center and is the Fr. John Meyendorff & Patterson Family Chair of Orthodox Christian Studies at Fordham University.

The Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University is the only research university-based center of Orthodox Studies in the United States. The Center offers an interdisciplinary minor and brings the insights of history, thought, and culture of Orthodox Christianity into a broader academic conversation. For more information you can visit: https://www.fordham.edu/academics/centers-and-institutes/orthodox-christian-studies-center/

This event underscores AHEPA’s unwavering dedication to promoting educational programing that is relevant and current, both domestically and internationally. Annually, the chapter produces a series of talks in support of its mission. The AHEPA Gold Coast Chapter 456 remains steadfast making a positive impact through meaningful academic and philanthropic endeavors.

Photos courtesy of AHEPA 456.

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