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Marina Martinos, Wife of Conference Co-Chair Archon Athanasios Martinos, Honored at Welcome Dinner of 4th Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom

On Monday evening, May 27, 2024, the 4th Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom gathered at the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece. Conference attendees received a private tour of the historic and innovative museum, getting a unique glimpse into the circumstances of the birth of the civilization that bequeathed to the world the principles of human rights and religious freedom.

At the Welcome Dinner that followed the tour, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America offered the invocation. Conference Co-Chairs Archon Athanasios Martinos, President of the Pammakaristos Brotherhood of Archons in Europe, and Archon Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, expressed gratitude to Conference attendees, and above all to all those who worked so tirelessly to bring this groundbreaking Conference to fruition.

Chief among these was Marina Martinos, the wife of Conference Co-Chair Archon Athanasios Martinos. Mrs. Martinos was presented with flowers in gratitude for her tireless efforts to arrange the private tour of the Acropolis Museum, and for all her other efforts to ensure the success and enduring impact of the Conference. Archon Dr. Limberakis also introduced his wife, Dr. Maria Limberakis, who is well known and loved as the “First Lady of the Archons”; Mrs. Helen Bozonelis; wife of National Vice Commander Hon. B. Theodore Bozonelis; and Presbytera Xanthi Karloutsos, wife of Rev. Protopresbyter Alex Karloutsos, Archon Spiritual Advisor. They noted that collaborating with every good Archon is a wonderful and supportive woman, and each of these heroic women was hailed with cries of Άξια!

Archon Hon. B. Theodore Bozonelis, National Vice Commander of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, noted that the Acropolis was where the flag of the Hellenic Republic is raised every day. He noted that the national motto of Greece, Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος (“Freedom or death”) and the cross of Orthodoxy brings us to the very essence of what this Conference is about. There is no freedom, Judge Bozonelis emphasized, without religious freedom.

Archon Hon. George J. Tsunis, Esq., U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic, pointed out that the Welcome Dinner was taking place on Memorial Day, when Americans honor those who died to defend our unalienable rights. U.S. democracy, he said, is built on principles formulated right here in Athens. The right to practice one’s faith freely and openly, he added, is one of the rights derived from the teachings of the ancient Greeks.

The Director-General of the Acropolis Museum, Dr. Nikos Stampolidis, expressed his gratitude to Archon Athanasios Martinos and his beloved wife Marina for their tireless and selfless service to Hellenism, Orthodoxy, and the Acropolis Museum in particular.

His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros pointed out that our culture is built upon the Acropolis and all the wonderful things the Greek people have achieved. He noted that the principles that built the free world come from Athens, and said that he could think of no greater honor than to represent the holy Mother Church of Constantinople.

His Excellency Gintaras Grušas, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vilnius and President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), offered the benediction to conclude the evening.

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