The 4th Archon
International Conference
on Religious Freedom

Council Of European Bishops’ Conferences President To Speak At 4th Archon International Conference

THENS – The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are pleased to announce that the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vilnius, Gintaras Grušas, President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), will address the upcoming Archon International Conferencein Athens, Greece. The Conference, which will focus on Human Rights, Democracy, and Religious Freedom, will be hosted at the direction of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew by the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, the Brotherhood of Panagia Pammakaristos in Greece, and the Order of the Holy Apostle Paul in Canada, as well as the Archons from Europe and Australia, on May 26-29, 2024.

When Archbishop Grušas was in Constantinople on the Monday of the Holy Spirit, June 5, 2023, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew called for ever greater cooperation within the Forum for Dialogue between the Orthodox Churches in Europe and the CCEE, particularly in light of the “unholy war” that Russia is waging against Ukraine. His All-Holiness thanked Archbishop Grušas for his presence “during such a festive period, in which we celebrate, more than any other time of the ecclesiastical year, our Lord’s call to unity, offers a tangible proof of the fraternal relations between our two sister Churches and of the significant steps that have been made towards the direction of our long-desired and God-pleasing unity.”

“Archbishop Gintaras Grušas’ parents were separated for sixteen years because Soviet authorities would not allow his mother and sister to leave the country to be reunited with his father. With parents who experienced Soviet tyranny, Archbishop Grušas knows the fundamental value of religious freedom, and has repeatedly demonstrated this as President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences,” said Archon National Commander Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis. “We are honored to have a speaker who has witnessed firsthand the far-reaching effects of the deprivation of religious freedom address the 4th Archon Conference on Religious Freedom.”

Gintaras Grušas was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in the Los Angeles area, the son of Lithuanian expatriates. He was ordained a priest on June 25, 1994, and served as secretary-general of the Episcopal Conference of Lithuania until 1997. On September 4, 2010, he was consecrated a bishop by Pope Benedict XVI. On April 5, 2013, Pope Francis appointed him Archbishop of Vilnius, and he was elected president of the Episcopal Conference of Lithuania on October 28, 2014. On September 26, 2021, he was elected President of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe.

The Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate are a devoted group of passionate leaders, relentlessly focused on protecting religious freedom for everyone and ensuring the future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate – the historical spiritual center for the world’s 300+ million Orthodox Christians.

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