Istanbul mayor Imamoglu to host dinner for Christians

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu will host a dinner for Christians for the first time in Istanbul’s history. Credit: Mark Lowen, CC BY-SA 4.0

Istanbul’s Turkish mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, will host the first dinner in honor of Christians in the city’s history next Monday.

Notable Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant leaders from the Armenian, Roman and Assyrian communities were invited to attend the event. The Turkish government also invited consuls from the United States and EU countries, as well as 39 mayors of the Turkish Republican Party (CHB) Good Party (IYI) from Georgia, Syria and Bulgaria.

But perhaps the most notable guest is the current Archbishop of Constantinople, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Celebrates 30 Years of Greek Orthodoxy Leadership

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew completed 30 years as the spiritual leader of 300 million adherents of the Greek Orthodox Church around the world in November 2021.

It was October 22, 1991 when Patriarch Bartholomew was elected and ascended to the ecumenical throne on November 2, 1991.

During these 30 years, His All Holiness has not only worked for the reconciliation of the Christian Churches, but has also acquired an international reputation for ecological awareness on a global level.

As head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Bartholomew represents the voice and concerns of a long-suffering but rapidly growing faith as Orthodox churches gain adherents across the world.

The Ecumenical Patriarch marked the 30th anniversary of his enthronement with visits to the United States and Greece.

In Greece, the Patriarch met Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, as well as the hierarchy of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Last month, he met with US President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss climate change and the measures needed to combat it.

President Biden and Patriarch Bartholomew share a history of goodwill and friendship, dating back to Biden’s eight-year tenure as vice president under the Obama administration.

Biden’s visit to Istanbul as vice president in 2011 marked a turning point in their friendship. During his stay, Biden immersed himself in the world of Orthodoxy, visiting the most important sites with the then Archbishop of America, Demetrios.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew also visited New York and dedicated the cross which was placed on top of the reconstructed St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine in Manhattan.

His All Holiness presided over the opening of Saint Nicholas directing the traditional Thyranoixia and officially opened its doors after nearly twenty years of planning and construction.

His tireless work and dedication were recognized and rewarded soon after when His Holiness received the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC on October 21, 1997.

It was a rare case for a religious figure to be so honored.

With his innovative initiatives and diverse work, as well as his determination, the Primate of Orthodoxy has become a figure of international prestige and has elevated the role of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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