2010 Brussels

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Speakers

Andrew Ekonomou

Dr. Ekonomou currently serves as senior counsel to both the American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, D.C., and the European Centre for Law and Justice in Strasbourg, France, where he participates in human rights and religious liberties cases in which these institutions are involved worldwide.

Angela Wu Howard

Angela Wu Howard served as International Law Director at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty from 2005-2010. The Becket Fund is a public interest law firm whose clients have included Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians.

Anthony J. Limberakis, M.D.

Dr. Limberakis, an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 1987 and a member of the Archon National Council since 1988, is a practicing radiologist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A former page in the United States Senate while in high school, he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. AS 1978 graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, he is president and owner of Bustleton Radiology Associates, Ltd.

Dilek Kurban, MA, JD

Former Director of the Democratization Program, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation Dilek Kurban received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, and Master in International Affairs (MIA) from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She received her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar.

Dogan Bermek

Mr. Bermek’s education includes degrees in architecture, business administration as well as being a graduate of the Harvard School of Business. He began his career as an architect in 1971, but also has been active in community affairs in his native Turkey.

Dr. Bican Sahin

Dr. Sahin is an associate professor of political science in the department of Political Science and Public Administration at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. He is the president of the Association of Liberal Thinking.

Dr. Elizabeth Prodromou

Dr. Prodromou is a retired, senior U.S. diplomat, having served (2004-2012) as vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Since 2011, she is a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group: Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society.

Dr. Otmar Oehring

Dr. Otmar Oehring was born in 1955 in Saulgau, Germany, and lived from 1955 to 1971 in Ankara, Turkey. From 1975 to 1981 he studied Middle Eastern Culture and History in Munich, where he also read Law.

Dr. Pieter Omtzigt

Dr. Omtzigt has been a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2004. As vice president of the committee on Social Affairs and Health, he initiated research into child abuse in institutions and churches throughout Europe.

Dr. Renate Sommer

Dr. Sommer, born in Bochum, Germany, has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999 and since 2009 has been a member of the Bureau of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats).
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Speeches & Addresses

Keynote Address of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
I thank God for this honor of being with you this evening at the beginning of our historic conference on religious freedom. I am thankful, first of all, for the mere fact that we are able to assemble peacefully for such a discussion; that we may all take part and speak our minds without hindrance or fear; that we who are clergy may be dressed in the garments of our vocation; and that we may enjoy dinner together, sharing the bounties of God's blessings without hunger or want. In other times, and even now in other places, this meal and this conference could not take place. What we do here is not merely a discussion of freedom: it is an expression of freedom, a celebration of the freedom God gives and God wills for all people of the earth!
Greetings from Odysseus F. Sassayiannis
Religious freedom is a very complex and ‘hot’ issue in our multicultural societies. This modern human right claims from state and religions more than tolerance towards groups and persons with different religious convictions. Tolerance is easier to practise than the demands of religious freedom. It makes pragmatic concessions to the ‘others’ without granting them their rights. Tolerance often expresses an arrogance, which humiliates.
Welcoming Remarks of Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis
On behalf of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Europe and in America, and my colleague Archon Sassayiannis, welcome to this historic International Archon Religious Freedom Conference, Religious Freedom: Turkey’s Bridge to the European Union.
Welcoming Remarks of Rodi Kratsa Tsagaropoulou
I am very pleased to welcome you in Brussels in our house in the European Parliament. I would also like to thank the organizers for their kind invitation to attend the opening of this conference. I sincerely regret that my Vice Presidency obligations in London have not allowed me to share my thoughts with you in person as I had planned.
Salutation of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
With great spiritual satisfaction and gratefulness of heart, we greet all of you, the participants of this truly historic religious freedom conference, as you commence your work and days of collaboration and exchange. We especially thank the sponsors of the event, the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, and the Pammakaristos Brotherhood of Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Europe, in cooperation with the Patriarchal Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union, for their offering of this most significant symposium.
Speech of Lakis Vingas
I am honored and pleased to join you here, today, in the seat of the European Union, to discuss issues of religious freedom and some general concerns expressed by religious minorities in Turkey.
Greetings of Prime Minister Leterme of Belgium
“I warmly welcome the participants to this very interesting conference and I wish them very successful debates.”
Opening Remarks of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America
With gratitude toward God and with fervent prayer for all people, I greet you with love in the Lord at the opening of this historic International Archon Religious Freedom Conference. Once again, as last night, we express our wholehearted thanks to the Archons of our Ecumenical Patriarchate, both from America and Europe, for a truly impressive preparation and commendable realization of such a promising conference.
Closing Remarks of Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis
It is with overwhelming feelings of pride and gratitude that I humbly offer these closing thoughts to you today. Truly, in the last 48 hours, we have experienced an extraordinary event of lasting spiritual, political, diplomatic and social significance.
Banquet Message of Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis
It is difficult for me to express in adequate fashion the delight and pride that I feel, on behalf of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, for the incomparable success and invaluable significance of the international conference that we have all experienced over the last two days here in the beautiful and historical city of Brussels, the capital of Europe.

News

Archpastoral message of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros to the Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

I wanted to take this moment to communicate with you through this marvelous tool of social media, to express how much I desire to embrace all of you as spiritual children, and to manifest to you...

Archpastoral Message of His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros to the faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Even though I am, as the Apostle Paul once said, “absent in the body” from you, I am very much with you in heart, in mind, and in spirit (cf. I Cor. 5:3). I wanted to take this moment to...

Contact-Us

Address and hours The Order of Saint Andrew Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate 8 East 79th Street New York, NY 10075   Phone: 212 570 3550 ...

Metropolitan Elpidophoros elected new Archbishop of America

Metropolitan Elpidophoros, now Archbishop-elect Elpidophoros, was a featured speaker at the 2nd Archon International...

Archons of the Metropolis of Atlanta hold religious freedom banquet; focus on Ukrainian Autocephaly

On March 30, 2019, the Archons of the Metropolis of Atlanta held a Religious Freedom banquet in Atlanta, GA, organized by Regional Commander Dr. Manuel Tissura. Fr. Paul Costopoulos of Birmingham,...

Announcement regarding the meeting of the Ecumenical Patriarch with Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America

With utmost respect, we are forwarding the news release from the Archdiocese, regarding His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios submitting his written resignation from the throne of the Greek Orthodox...