Naples, FL - With the blessings of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples, Florida held its first Religious Freedom Symposium on March 14, 2015 in its cultural center. The symposium, under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Philemon Patitsas was chaired by Dr. Harry Dimopoulos and co-chaired by Archon Regional Commander John C. Scurtis on behalf of the South Florida Archons. This was the first annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium under the overall theme of Uplifting Christ and Witnessing for our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism.
The Symposium brought together over 250 people from various Christian Churches and denominations representing a very broad spectrum of the Southwest Florida community. Many also traveled from the vicinity of Miami to attend the event. The aim of the symposium was to raise awareness on the atrocities being perpetrated against Christians around the world on a daily basis. The symposium featured prominent speakers including Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and Rev. Father Fouad Saba, Dean of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral (Coral Gables, FL).
In addition to the keynote speakers, Father Philemon Patitsas, Archon John Scurtis, Regional Commander of South Florida, Archon Harry Demas and Dr. Harry Dimopoulos, Chairman of the Christian Rights and Freedom Ministry shared their thoughts with the audience. Father Philemon concluded the conference by presenting recommended action steps to further the goals of the conference including:
- Preserving our Christian identity,
- Organizing and educating ourselves and others,
- Establishing dialogue with the public,
- Standing up for ourselves and
- Investing in the cause