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District 10 Archons host first-ever Religious Freedom Symposium

His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver together with clergy, Archons and their spouses at the first-ever Religious Freedom Symposium at Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral in Denver. (Photos by J. Mindala)

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With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, the Archons of the 10th District hosted their first ever Religious Freedom Symposium at the Assumption of the Theotokos Cathedral in Denver, Saturday, September 17. Nearly 125 Archons, local clergy, Metropolis Council members, members of the Ladies Philoptochos and Orthodox faithful attended the symposium, which was organized and moderated by Regional Commander Dr. Gregory G. Papadeas.

National Commander Anthony J. Limberakis, MD was the featured speaker, who presented a dynamic multimedia program that reviewed the religious freedom deficit of Turkey which is constricting the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the domestic and international initiatives of the Order of Saint Andrew promoting religious freedom for the Mother Church and recent positive steps the government of Turkey has announced in addressing the religious freedom crisis that affects all religious minorities in Turkey.

As a Case Study exemplifying the religious freedom efforts of the Archons, Dr. Limberakis presented in detail the process by which the Religious Freedom Resolutions were passed in the State of Texas in the face of strong opposition by the Turkish American community. The resolutions were passed as a direct result of the extraordinary efforts of Archons Chris Pappas, John Zavitsanos and Archon-candidate Thomas Suehs, assisted by Archons Frank Mihalopoulos, Chairman StephenGeorgeson, Mike Manatos; Mr. Bill Miller, and all the Orthodox clergy and laity of Texas. The unprecedented 1,000 letters written by Orthodox Christians from the Houston, Dallas and Austin parishes of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese sent to their Texas state representatives calling for religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was the final act convincing the Texas State Legislature to pass the Religious Freedom Resolutions: HCR 1670 and SR 1006.

Archon-candidate Thomas Suehs presents Metropolitan Isaiah with the official, signed Texas State House and Senate Religious Freedom Resolutions.

Dr. Limberakis enthusiastically congratulated Metropolitan Isaiah, Representative Dennis Bonnen and Senator JohnWhitmire who sponsored the resolutions after the original joint resolution it was withdrawn by Senator Joan Huffman. In concluding that section of Dr. Limberakis’ presentation, Archon-candidate Suehs presented the official, signed Texas State House of Representative and Texas State Senate Religious Freedom Resolutions to Metropolitan Isaiah to a rousing ovation.

The symposium concluded with a question and answer session and with a sumptuous luncheon hosted by the Archons of the 10th District.

Regional Commander Dr. Gregory G. Papadeas, and his wife Stellee, hosted a dinner reception at their home in honor of “Religious Freedom For All Peoples.”

That evening, Regional Commander Papadeas, together with his wife Stellee, hosted an elegant dinner reception in their home overlooking the Rocky Mountains in honor of “Religious Freedom For All Peoples.” Metropolitan Isaiah, Colorado State Representative John Kefalas (who sponsored the Colorado Religious Freedom Resolution), Leadership 100 Chairman Archon Constantine and Dr. Maria Caras, Metropolis of Denver Vice Chair, Dr. Lou and Mrs. Roussalis, President of the Denver Metropolis Philoptochos Board, Mrs. Marian Catechis, members of the Metropolis of Denver Council and Orthodox Faithful of Denver were in attendance.

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