Second Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom in Turkey Set to Take Place in Berlin, Germany

(Berlin, Germany) The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in cooperation with the Patriarchal Liaison Office to the European Union and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Germany will host the 2nd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom December 4-5, 2013 at the historic Adlon Hotel in Berlin, Germany. Taking place in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate, the theme of the Conference is “Tearing Down Walls: Achieving Religious Equality in Turkey.”

The Conference will focus on religious freedom issues affecting minorities in Turkey stressing the concepts of equality, state neutrality and pluralism as they relate to religious freedom and the status of religious freedom under Turkey’s current and proposed new constitutions.

“Now, more than ever, the measure of religious liberty and freedom of conscience will be the foremost benchmark to determine the true democratic intentions of any society. This Conference will not only speak this truth to power, but will demonstrate real and tested means of societal transformation by stressing inclusion over exclusion.” says Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Commander of the Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Politicians, diplomats, religious leaders, human rights lawyers and activists, scholars, journalists, political commentators and members of religious minorities including Alevi Muslims, Armenians, Catholics, Jews, Orthodox Christians, Protestants and Syrics will all come together to discuss freedom of faith issues in Turkey and discuss first hand the day to day challenges religious minorities encounter in order to survive and how to overcome those challenges. Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State, United States Senator and First Lady will address participants by video. The conference will feature over 35 world-renowned speakers and panelists from the interfaith, diplomatic, journalistic, legal, and academic communities.

One of the most critical discussions at the conference will be on the forcible closure of the Halki Theological Seminary. The shuttered seminary has become the Berlin Wall of religious freedom, exemplifying the repression of religious minorities. This repression was exposed to the world by the CBS News program, 60 Minutes in their December 2009 segment titled The Patriarch in which His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew boldly stated that he felt “crucified in his own country.”

For more information on the conference, the Archons and to view a complete list of speakers and panelists, please visit

This event is open to the press. To request a media credential, please email or contact George Gigicos at 561-400-3604.

#ReligiousFreedom on Twitter will also provide updates on conference proceedings.

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