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Archbishop Elpidophoros to Visit Northern Greece

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Credit: GOARCH

The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, Elpidophoros, will visit northern Greece early next month to attend a number of religious services and events.

The Archbishop’s visit was announced in a statement released by the Diocese of Maroneia and Komotoni, located in northeastern Greece close to the border with Turkey.

According to the announcement, Archbishop Elpidophoros will attend a service at the Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Virgin in Komotini on March 2.

He will also receive an honorary doctorate from the School of Classical and Humanistic Studies in Komotini, which is a satellite campus of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Archbishop Elpidophoros to visit northern Greece

The Archbishop of America will then attend an event in Maroneia, during which the town’s public square will be renamed after Archbishop Michael of America, who was born in Maroneia in 1926 and passed away in 1958.

Elpidophoros, who was born Ioannis Lambriniadis in Istanbul, Turkey, currently serves as the eighth Archbishop of America. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America was founded in 1922.

Archbishop Elpidophoros is known for his engagement with both Greek and American communities in America, Greece, and around the world. He has been an outspoken critic of Turkey’s decision to convert Hagia Sofia into a mosque, and marched with Black Lives Matter protestors in New York.

The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America Elpidophoros issued a statement on the first anniversary of the conversion of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul into an Islamic mosque last summer.

”Hagia Sophia is the embodiment of our Orthodox Christian Faith,” Elpidophoros said in a tweet in his personal Twitter account.

”We mourn its conversion to a mosque. Every culture and is worthy of respect, and Hagia Sophia, the epitome of the Byzantine achievement, should have been left as a place of cultural intersection and religious harmony,” the religious leader proclaimed.

Last week, along with other Greek community leaders, Elpidophoros met with Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York City.

According to an announcement from the Archdiocese of America, the meeting focused on key issues that had been raised at an earlier meeting between Adams and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during the latter’s visit to the United States shortly after Adams’ election in November.

Concerns aired at the meeting include the bid for the reopening of the theological school in Halki, the rights of religious minorities in Turkey, Ankara’s conversion of Hagia Sofia into a mosque and the Cyprus issue.

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