Metropolis of Atlanta

Metropolis of Atlanta Archons Hold 18th Banquet

ATLANTA – At their 18th annual St. Andrew Banquet on March 18, Metropolis of Atlanta Archons heard a presentation on the current situation in Turkey as it relates to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The speaker, Archon Dr. Andrew J. Ekonomou (J.D. and Ph.D. from Emory University) addressed the group on the topic “Empty Words and Vacant Gestures: The Great Church Remains in Captivity.” Dr. Ekonomou described the fate of the Patriarchate and other Orthodox religious sites following a failed coup in Turkey in 2016 and the continued attempt at Islamization of the country by its President Erdogan.

He outlined a history of abuses suffered by the Greek Orthodox faith throughout the years in Turkey and now, the continued attempts to diminish it further. While the Republic of Turkey proclaims its commitment to religious liberty and toleration, its words are empty, Dr. Ekonomou said, and its gestures vacant. He pointed out five means of the Church’s continued state of imprisonment:

  1. The Istanbul Mandates, which require the Ecumenical Patriarch and all hierarchs who vote for him to be Turkish citizens,
  2. Denial of the right to teach the Orthodox Faith and educate the clergy,
  3. Restriction of the Greek Orthodox Christians to freely worship,
  4. Denial of the true role and status of the Ecumenical Patriarch and
  5. Denial of legal personality to the Ecumenical Patriarchate which prevents it from transferring, owning, or purchasing property.

Among those in attendance were Metropolitan Alexios, Metriopolis Chancellor the Very Rev. George Tsahakis, Archon Regional Commander Dr. Manuel Tissura, and emcee, Bill Marianes.

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