Turkey’s Mayor Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, will host the first dinner in honor of Christians in the city’s history this coming Monday.
Notable Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant leaders from Armenian, roman, and Assyrian communities have been asked to attend the event. The Turkish government has also invited the consuls of the United States and EU countries, along with 39 mayors of the Turkish Republican Party (CHB) Good Party (IYI) hailing from Georgia, Syria, and Bulgaria.
But perhaps the most notable guest is the current archbishop of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Celebrates 30 years of leading Greek Orthodoxy
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew completed 30 years as the spiritual leader of 300 million faithful of the Greek Orthodox Church worldwide as of November, 2021.
It was October 22, 1991 when Patriarch Bartholomew was elected and ascended to the Ecumenical Throne on November 2, 1991.
In these 30 years, His All Holiness has not only worked for reconciling Christian Churches but also earned an international reputation for raising ecological awareness on a global level.
As the leader of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew represents the voice and concerns of a long-suffering, but fast growing faith, as Orthodox Churches are gaining adherents across the globe.
The Ecumenical Patriarch marked the 30th anniversary of his enthronement with visits to the U.S. and Greece.
In Greece, the Patriarch met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, along with the hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Last month he met with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss climate change and the steps needed to battle it.
President Biden and Patriarch Bartholomew share a history of good will and friendship, dating back to Biden’s eight-year tenure as Vice President during the Obama administration.
A turning point in their friendship was Biden’s visit to Istanbul as Vice President in 2011. While there, Biden immersed himself in the world of Orthodoxy, touring the most important sites with then-Archbishop of America Demetrios.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also went to New York and dedicated the cross which was placed atop the rebuilt Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine in Manhattan.
His All-Holiness presided over the opening of Saint Nicholas by conducting the traditional Thyranoixia and officially opened its doors after nearly twenty years of planning and construction.
His tireless work and devotion was recognized and awarded soon after, when His All Holiness was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda,in Washington, DC on October 21, 1997.
It was a rare case for any religious figure to be so honored.
With his groundbreaking initiatives and his diverse work, along with his determination, the Primate of Orthodoxy became a figure of international prestige and elevated the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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