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Archon Webinar: Religious Freedom, Self-Defense, and the Orthodox Communities in Ukraine

With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, the Academia Symposia Committee of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle and Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University are presenting an online webinar, Religious Freedom, Self-Defense, and the Orthodox Communities in Ukraine. This program on the importance of religious freedom to democracy will be held on March 25, the Feast Day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos and the day of Greek Independence and Religious Freedom, at 4PM EST. The Archbishop will be opening with a prepared statement on this important topic. Sponsoring this webinar, the Committee’s first of 2023, is a member of the Academia Symposia Committee, Emmanuel Velivasakis, Archon Eftaxias.

In the year since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of their nation, the people of Ukraine have endured relentless violence, economic catastrophe, and enduring hardship. In addition to mobilizing its military defense, the Ukrainian government has recently passed legislation that places new scrutiny on religious organizations administered from a hostile country to determine whether those organizations are undermining the nation’s self-defense. But what are the limits of these laws, and will they become the basis of de facto criminalization of Moscow Patriarchate’s alleged supervision of its parishes in Ukraine? How might this legislation challenge or enable the integration of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that was until May 2022 historically aligned with Moscow?

Serving as Moderator for an incisive and enlightening discussion of these all-important issues will be Academia Symposia Committee member George Demacopoulos, Archon Didaskalos Tou Genous, Professor of Theology and Co-founder of the Orthodox Christian Study Center, Fordham University. Featured panelists will be Elizabeth H. Prodromou, Visiting professor at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; Nadieszda Kizenko, Professor of History and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University at Albany; Rev. Dr. Cyril Hovorun, Associate Dean at Sankt Ignatius Theological Academy in Sweden and senior lecturer at the Stockholm School of Theology; and Sergei Chapnin, Senior Fellow at Fordham University’s Orthodox Christian Study Center.

The Academia Symposia Committee is one of the Archon Engagement Committees of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Dr. George P. Zimmar, Archon Prostatis Ton Grammaton, serves as its chair, with Dr. Stamatios Kartalopoulos, Archon Exarchos, as vice chair and Emmanuel Velivasakis, Archon Eftaxias, as co-organizer.

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