Orthodox News Worldwide: Why I supported Martin Luther King in Selma and more

Orthodox News Worldwide: Why I supported Martin Luther King in Selma and more


Welcome to “This Week in Orthodoxy, the world’s only online video newscast focused on events in the life of the Orthodox Church.

I’m Emmy Louvaris. These are some of the stories making headlines this week.

  • Archbishop Iakovos: “Why I supported Martin Luther King in Selma”
  • Rev. Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos Fell Asleep in the Lord
  • Small Russian Orthodox church in Cumming, Georgia gets shot up twice

Archbishop Iakovos: “Why I supported Martin Luther King in Selma”

First Up, Archbishop Iakovos is remembered as a Pioneering leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in America for many reasons. He was the first Greek Archbishop in 350 years to officially confer with a pope, leaving behind a tremendous body of work as the primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in North and South America for 37 years.

However, Iakovos was also a champion of civil and human rights who showed his support to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. not only with his words, but also with his actions. He was one of the first powerful people to embrace the ideas of Dr. King and march hand in hand with him in 1965 in Selma, Alabama. “He had received threats if he would dare to walk with Dr. King, but he never thought twice of his decision,” says a close aid and friend of the Archbishop.

This historic moment for America was captured on the cover of LIFE Magazine on March 26, 1965. The New York Times reported, “The striking cover of Time magazine that showed Dr. King side by side with the black-garbed Archbishop Iakovos marked a new presence of Greek Americans and the Greek Orthodox church in American life.”

Iakovos vigorously supported the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights legislation, exclaiming when the first bill was passed: GLORY TO THE MOST HIGH!  MAY THIS MARK THE BEGINNING OF A NEW AGE FOR ALL HUMANKIND, AN ERA WHEN THE WORD OF GOD CHARTS AND GUIDES OUR LIVES.”

Iakovos’ decision to support Dr. King, and the publicity his action received, brought Greek-Americans and African-Americans much closer, resulting in a friendship that the two communities celebrate until this day!

The enthronement of Archbishop Iakovos took place on April 1, 1959 at Holy Trinity Cathedral in New York City. He served as Archbishop until 1996 and passed away on April 10, 2005 (at age 93).

Rev. Dr. Demetrios J. Constantelos Fell Asleep in the Lord

NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America mourns the passing of Fr. Demetrios J. Constantelos, one of the most respected Orthodox theologians and scholars of Greek culture, who fell asleep in the Lord Jan. 10, after a short illness. He was 89. His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios stated: “The passing of Fr. Demetrios Constantelos constitutes a very significant loss for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.   I have known him since 1946 and throughout the years I have been impressed by his great success in studies and scholarship, which made him one of the most respected scholars in the field of Byzantine Theology and History.” Born and raised in Greece, he completed his high school studies there and was offered a scholarship to study at the Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., from which he graduated in 1951, was ordained a priest in1955 and promptly assigned to St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Perth Amboy, N.J. where he served until1964.

He continued to pursue post-graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary And was the Charles Cooper Townsend Sr. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Religious Studies at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey and also a Distinguished Scholar in Residence. He is survived by his four children and six grandchildren. May his memory be eternal.

Small Russian Orthodox church in Cumming, Georgia gets shot up twice

From Cumming, Georgia A small Russian Orthodox Church has been shot at twice When it happened the first time, Fr. Eugene Antonov and his parishioners assumed it was simply an accident, perhaps a but now that Joy of All Who Sorrow Russian Orthodox Church has been attacked and vandalized twice, Forsyth County deputies are searching for assailants with more serious intentions. Deputies believe the vandals in this latest incident drove up to the sign, fired buckshot, and drove off. Between the two incidents dozens of shots fired have left the sign and the church building with thousands of dollars worth of damage.

While the situation is being taken seriously, deputies have said they see no reason to consider the shootings a hate crime. Fr. Eugene, who left Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union in search of better opportunities for his family, is not so sure. “Why would someone want to do this?” “Because it’s a church, and second because it’s a Russian church.” Fr. Eugene is worried that his parish, may be getting caught up in the “political firestorm” currently surrounding Russian affairs President Putin, and the national election.

Orthodox Mobile Apps: Spark and The Orthodox Prayerbook

And from OCN, it’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close and that 2016 is quickly rapping up! It was only a year ago in January when OCN launched two apps that revolutionized accessibility for Orthodox Christians worldwide: Spark and The Orthodox Prayer Book Apps: Spark is an Orthodox Christian News Portal, that allows you access information about events going on in the Orthodox Christian World, making it easy to share them with friends.

The Orthodox Prayer Book is the ultimate prayer assistant that not only allows you to carry personalized prayers around with you, but it also supports you to pray in the least distracting manner possible.

Now given how easily we can access information on our mobile devices, imagine what it would be like, to not be able to.

Our two OCN apps have been downloaded 12,000 times since January. That’s 50 downloads per day! App user Konlelos, shared: “Finally, an app that brings me news from all over the Orthodox world. I check it daily now. I’ve recommended it to several friends.”

Unfortunately, our current suite of apps is only available to iOS users which make up just 13.9% of smart phone users. Follower Vasile commented about this gap: “This is great! Hats off to all of you! Unfortunately, I as well as the many other Android users will not be able to utilize this incredible tool. Please build an android app (as well) soon.”

He is not alone. 82% of smart phone users are Android users. That’s over 2 billion people worldwide that cannot access our apps. This is where we need your help. Help us fill the gap!

Much like public radio & TV, we rely on support from our viewers, listeners and myocn.net visitors like you!

Be a part of our growth and make a contribution today where your donation will specifically support us in raising the $25,000 necessary to create a new suite of Android apps!

Let’s make Orthodoxy GoMobile!

Log on to our state of the art website at myocn.net and click the “donate” button, then take a moment to share it on social media with the hashtag #GoMobile so others are inspired to support OCN too!

That brings another edition of “This Week in Orthodoxy,” to a close. Wishing you a blessed week, for everyone here in our OCN studios, I’m Emmy Louvaris. Let’s go forth in peace.

Funding for news from this department is provided through the support of OCN viewers and by Leadership 100. 


The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America originally commissioned by SCOBA to create a national, sustainable, and effective media witness for Orthodox Christianity and seekers around the world through media ministry. CLICK HERE to download our brochure.

This 501(c)3 is recognized as a leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty years. OCN shares the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week. Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure that OCN may continue to offer free, high-quality, Orthodox media.



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About author

Emmy Louvaris

Emmy Louvaris is the host of This Week in Orthodoxy, the first weekly news show to cover the international Orthodox Church and community.