ARCHON COMMANDER ANTHONY J. LIMBERAKIS
3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom
The Persecution of Christians In The Holy Lands & Middle East Consequences and Solutions
(December 5, 2017 – 7:30 – 10:00 pm)
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Your Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate
Your Eminences and Excellencies,
Archon Reince Priebus
Ladies and Gentlemen,
There is a reason that the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Western Hemisphere are dedicated to Saint Andrew, the First-Called Disciple of our Lord. Saint Andrew the Apostle was the not only the “First-Called” – he was also the first to gather someone else to the invitation of the Lord, in fact, his own brother Simon, who would become Saint Peter, the Chief of the Apostles.
Andrew heard the call, “Come and see,” as more than an opportunity for himself. He understood it to be a responsibility to share the news – in this case – the “Good News” – with someone else. So, true to his name, and true to his spirit, we Archons of the Order of Saint Andrew, are not afraid to follow after the call of Christ – to go where He beckons us to go, and to bear witness – to truly see – what our Lord would reveal to the world.
That is why we are gathered in our Nation’s Capital during these days with all of you. That is why we have invited you to this place, at this time – that we might abide together with the Lord even, as the Scripture says, unto the “tenth hour,” and to see with our eyes and hear with our ears the truth of the persecution and the martyrdom of our beloved brothers and sisters in the Middle East, in North Africa, in South Sudan, in Pakistan, in Turkey, and wherever the name of God is blasphemed by anger, violence, and hatred.
Our deliberations and discussions are not aimed as weapons at anyone. Rather, our purpose is to bring the light of truth and expose the darkness of enmity as what it truly is: empty of meaning, empty of reason, and empty of life. If, as human beings, we cannot come to the realization of the right of every person to freedom of conscience and religious belief, and the right to practice that belief in safety and liberty, then we risk losing the very hallmarks of the image and likeness of God in which our very humanity is created!
Dear Friends, I want to express to all of you how grateful we are for your presence and contributions during these days, and allow me to express as well the hope that our work together will bear fruit and spread the light of religious freedom around the world, so that all people may live in peace and harmony with one another and with God.
 John 1:39.