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Orthodox Leaders Meet in Istanbul

Orthodox leaders to meet in IstanbulLeading Orthodox members from various countries will meet in Istanbul on March 3 and 4 for a conference entitled The Social Dimension of Monotheistic Religion. Organized by The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO), established upon the initiative of the Hellenic Parliament, the conference will be held at the Hotel Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus.

Representatives from Greece, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Egypt, Georgia, Cyprus, Sudan, and Romania will be present. Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek and Fener Greek Patriarch Bartholomew will open the meeting and the Russian President of the General Assembly will make the opening speech.

The delegation attended a ritual held by Patriarch Bartholomew on March 2. Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News regarding the meeting, Heybeliada Halki Seminary’s archpriest and Metropolitan of Bursa Elpidophoros Lambriniadis said organizing the meeting in Istanbul had great importance.

“(Istanbul) is the center of the Orthodox world since the Fener Greek Patriarchate is located here. The Patriarchate comes in first place both in protocol order and in the Orthodox world,” Lambriniadis said. The Fener Greek Patriarchate is accepted as an ecumenical and universal entity by Orthodoxies all around the world; however, Turkey does not recognize its ecumenical title.

“Russia’s presence in such a meeting is a clear sign of the value given to the Fener Greek Patriarchate,” Lambriniadis said. “Holding a meeting on monotheistic religions in a Muslim country has great importance in terms of dialogue between religions. Also, Orthodox parliament members’ interest toward such a significant subject is very important,” Lambriniadis said, adding that Heybeliada Halki Seminary will host the clergymen of the Athens Archbishopric along with a series of conferences until March 6.

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