Regional Archons co-sponsor presentation on Refugee Crisis and Resettlement Process

Regional Archons co-sponsor presentation on Refugee Crisis and Resettlement Process


Inspired by the The Order of St. Andrew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, The Orthodox Christian Network will be featuring the good works and deeds of faith that defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition. An Archon is an honoree by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his outstanding service to the Church, and a well-known distinguished, and well-respected leader of the Orthodox Christian community. It is by the grace of God that the Archon has been able to offer his good works and deeds of faith. Further, it is the sworn oath of the Archon to defend and promote the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition.


Archon Gregory J. Stamos, right, welcomes Chris George, Executive Director of Immigrant Refugee Integrated Services, to St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Orange, Connecticut.


Orange, CT

With the blessings of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, the Order of Saint Andrew co-sponsored a presentation on the refugee crisis and the resettlement process. The Jan 13th presentation, entitled, “America’s Noblest Tradition … Welcoming Refugees to our Shores – How the Refugee Settlement Program Works in Connecticut” was delivered by Mr. Chris George, Executive Director of Immigrant Refugee Integrated Services (IRIS), a not-for-profit refugee resettlement agency based in New Haven, Connecticut.

As a result of the unprecented surge in refugee resettlement worldwide, Mr. George spoke of IRIS’ goal to double its resettlement of refugees in Connecticut from 250 to 500 in 2016. His presentation also highlighted the crisis of 20 million refugees currently being resettled throughout the world, the largest resettlement of refugees since World War II.

Mr. George also explained the resettlement process, the very detailed vetting of each potential refugee, prior to admittance into the United States. He also noted that refugees must endure a 24-30 month process of living in refugee camps, mostly in Jordan, even before any determination if they have been approved for resettlement in the United States.

Chris George, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, and a Greek-American, has spent virtually his entire professional life working in the Middle East, including serving as Executive Director of Human Watch, Middle East, after being a Peace Corp volunteer in Oman. IRIS resettles 250 refugees per year, and while mostly Syrian, also from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other Middle East countries.

Regional Commander Nikiforos Mathews and Archon Gregory J. Stamos spearheaded the sponsorship of the presentation which was held at St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church in Orange, Connecticut. The event was also co-sponsored by the Order of AHEPA, Chapter #98, and the Hellenic Bar Association of Connecticut.

View photos from this event »



The Order of St. Andrew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was organized on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 10, 1966 when His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos conferred upon thirty outstanding laymen of the Church the various Offikion or Offices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on behalf of His All Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras of blessed memory. They were honored because of their love, loyalty and support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and their contribution to its advancement and welfare.

To Learn More About the Order of St. Andrew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, click here.



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Orthodox Christian Network brings you news of events and people important to the life of the Orthodox Church around the world. OCN highlights media organizations that track these important stories.