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Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, prolific writer and speaker on the subject of religious freedom, presented ‘Christianity Under Attack!’ – the Plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the First Annual National Christian Rights Freedom Symposium on March 14, 2015.
Organized and hosted by St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples Florida and the South Florida Archons, the conference focused on ‘Uplifting Christ, Witnessing for our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism’.
Dr. Limberakis’s presentation, ‘Christianity Under Attack!’ highlighted the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Highlights of Dr. Limberakis’s presentation:
- 70% of the world’s population lives in countries with heavy restrictions on freedom of religion.
- Christianity represents the largest of the World’s religions with 2.2 billion believers, followed by Islam, with Muslims representing 1.6 billion followers.
- Christians living in the Middle East (Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestine Territories and Syria): Orthodox (66%), Catholic (27%) and Protestant (7%).
- Christians living in the Middle East: in 1910, Christian’s represented 10% of the population of the Middle East. In 2010, this number diminished to 5%.
- Orthodox Christians are under attack in the Middle East and nearing extinction, noting that ISIS has crucified Christians in Northern Syria to intimidate, “anyone who dares challenge its rule”.
5 Disturbing Trends Regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Regarding the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Dr. Limberakis noted 5 disturbing issues:
- Lack of Legal Personality: in the eyes of the Government of Turkey, the Ecumenical Patriarchate doesn’t exist.
- Property: the Ecumenical Patriarchate cannot buy, sell or inherit property. In 2015, less than 500 properties are remaining.
- The government of Turkey has interfered in the selection of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Apostolic Succession.
- No ‘Ecumenical’ Status: while the Ecumenical Patriarch is recognized by all religious and civil leaders throughout the world, the government of Turkey refuses to recognize the ‘Ecumenical’ status.
- Forcible Closure of the Halki seminary. Founded in 1844, the Halki seminary “was the main school of theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church’s Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople until the Turkish parliament enacted a law banning private higher education institutions in 1971” (source: Wikipedia). Notably, “As of January 2011, an international campaign to reopen this theological school is entering its 40th year as noted by American Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland in the United States Congress during the 2nd Session of Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress”.
About Archon Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis:
Dr. Anthony Limberakis is the National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle (“Archons”), the international defenders of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Dr. Limberakis has been an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate since 1987 and a member of its National Council since 1988; he is a practicing radiologist and resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A former Page in the United States Senate while in high school, he earned BA and MA degrees in political science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. A 1978 graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, he is President and owner of Bustleton Radiology Associates, Ltd.
7 Steps: How You Can Help in Defense of Persecuted Christians
The co-chairs of the Christian Rights and Freedom Ministry (Dr. Harry Dimopoulos, Archon Harry Demas and Richard Pappas) and Father Philemon Patitsas of St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church (Naples, FL) invite your questions and involvement. The following 7 steps can assist you in “Uplifting Christ, Witnessing for Our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism”:
1. Preserve Our Christian Identity
- Align our minds and hearts with God’s calling. See Christ in others.
- Glorify God daily; PRAY, fast & give alms.
- Identify empathetically with the plight of persecuted Christians of the world.
2. Organize Ourselves for Success
- Establish Christian Rights and Freedom ministries in communities throughout America. Do you belong to one?
- Organize local events & initiatives to educate, advocate, defend & counteract the antagonists of our faith.
3. Educate Ourselves and Others
- ’Know Ourselves’ – Study our history, faith & culture
- Develop clear policy positions so the public knows where we stand.
- Expose misinformation to the light of truth.
4. Dialogue with the Public
- Network with people concerned about the rise of Islamofascism.
- Boycott producers of products that may be underwriting radical extremism & terrorism, such as oil produced by certain member states.
- Advocate for energy self-sufficiency for America, and alternative energy sourcing options.
- Advocate withholding foreign aid and military assistance to countries that are not aligned with our national interests.
5. Stand Up for Ourselves
- Establish “Anti-Defamation Teams’ to call out Christophobes.
- Petition officials who have the ability to influence public policy.
- Advocate for economic sanctions; exercise our freedom of assembly.
6. Invest in the Cause
- Donate to organizations that help the oppressed and promote the preservation of Western culture and values.
- Fund infrastructure & activities that advance the cause of Christian Rights & Freedom
7. Purchase an ‘I Too Am a Nazarene’ pin
Purchase a ‘I Too Am a Nazarene’ pin to benefit persecuted Christians and refugees in the Middle East Conflict. The Arabic letter “N” has been painted by ISIS/ISIL to target the homes of Christians for expulsion and obliteration. The symbol “N” stands for ‘Nazarene’ signifying that its residents are followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Pins are on sale through the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox church’s website. Pins are one inch square, and sell for $5 each, plus shipping and handling, shipping is waived for orders over 50 pins.
All proceeds from pin sales will be directed to the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Middle East Fund to aid these suffering people. IOCC has had a continual presence in that part of the world almost since its inception in 1992, and was chosen as the recipient because its effectiveness in providing relief to the suffering people of the Middle East.
All churches and concerned organizations are encouraged to participate. For further information please contact ChristianRelief7100@gmail.com.
About First Annual National Christian Rights & Freedom Symposium
On Saturday, March 14, 2015, St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples Florida and the South Florida Archons hosted its first annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium – “Uplifting Christ, Witnessing for our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism”.
The First Annual National Christian Rights & Freedom Symposium featured several prominent speakers including Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Commander and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Rev. Father Fouad Saba, Dean of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral (Coral Gables, FL); Father Philemon Patitsas, Presiding Priest of the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church (Naples, FL); John Scurtis, Regional Commander and Archon; Harry Demas, Archon; and Dr. Harry Dimopoulos, Chairman of the Christian Rights and Freedom Ministry
To watch video highlights of the First Annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnDiwtAs52o.
To learn more about the First Annual National Christian Rights & Freedom Symposium visit http://stkatherine.net.
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