International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration of Shoah Victims

The Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece in commemoration of Shoah Victims and the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, alongside with the SIGNAL-Researching and Confronting the Far Right and the Association for History Education in Greece, organized a discussion on Wednesday 20th January 2021 about: “Exploring Memory, talking about the Holocaust in Greek schools – Interdisciplinary approaches”.

The event took place a week earlier because we wanted to give the Greek teachers the opportunity to have teaching material proposals for this special day.

Our speakers: theologian Dr. Christos Nasios, high school teacher and scientific associate of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, historian Dr. Vassiliki Sakka, high school teacher and President of the Association for History Education in Greece and Dr. Vasia Tsami who teaches sociolinguistics at the Department of Early Childhood Education – School of Education at the University of Athens. They presented the course and the progression of teaching about the Holocaust in Greek schools throughout the years and also they gave their suggestions concerning old and new teaching material studied in class.
Coordinator of the discussion was Mr. Kostis Papaioannou, high school teacher and Director of the non-profit organization “SIGNAL-Researching and Confronting the Far Right”.
Watch here

The Holocaust, Genocides and some educational approaches.

The Holocaust, Genocides and some educational approaches were discussed
in a two days webinar that the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of
Greece ran alongside after an invitation by the French organization
Yahad in Unum on the 14th and 21st of November 2020.
Teachers and educators from all over Greece and specialists from abroad
attended this on line seminar. The subject referred to investigations of
Holocaust crimes that took place in ex Soviet countries, also to
contemporary genocides (Guatemala, Yazidi, Armenia) and participators
discussed about educational scenarios.
We had Mrs. Renata Skunczyk and Mr. Michal Chozak as speakers from
Yahad in Unum.
Mr. Christos Nasios on behalf of the team of Interorthodox Centre
presented the help that Greek clergy (priests and bishops) offered to
the rescue of Greek Jews during the years of the Nazi Occupation in the
Greek territory.
Mrs. Verjin Karabetian who is the secretary of “Hamazkayin”, the Armenian cultural society in Greece, spoke about the Armenian Genocide
in the wake of today.
Mr. Albert Hytry from Yahad in Unum and Mr. Sergios Voilas from the
Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece had the responsibility of
the organization.

European Council of Religious Leaders virtual meeting

His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopylae, Director of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, participated in the visual meeting of the European Council of Religious Leaders. The online meeting had important issues on the agenda, such as report on activities, registration of administrative base for Religious for Peace Europe, appointment of the ECRL delegation to the Board of the new Religious for Peace Europe etc..

Erasmus+ on Covid-19 time

The European Manifesto for Inclusive Learning final online meeting: learning from each other to rethink education and training.
The scientific team of the Interorthodox Centre, Mr. Sergios Voilas, Mr. Christos Nasios and Mrs. Kalliopi Mavragka, alongside with the ERASMUS+
Partners from Italy, Finland, Poland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Germany, all gathered together virtually at the final online meeting of the ERASMUS PLUS KA2 project “The European Manifesto for inclusive learning”. There was an exchange of good practices and new data emerged now with the appearance of covid -19 and the worldwide pandemic.

Oikosnet Europe virtual General Assembly 2020

His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopylae, Director of the
Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, participated on 10th and
11th September 2020 to the virtual General Assembly of OIKOSNET Europe
(“Ecumenical Association of Academies and Laity Centres in Europe”).

The first day, on September 10, it was a study day for the participants
under the theme: “Climate Change and the European Green Deal – The Role
of Oikosnet Europe”.

Keynote speakers were:
• Anja Bakken Riise, leader of the Norwegian NGO «Future in our hands»,
with the theme: «Future in our hands – the grass root perspective» and,
• Sven Giegold, politician and member of the European Parliament from
Germany, with the theme: «Green Deal – the perspectives, obstacles und
challenges for Civil Society».

The second day, on September 11, had the form of a Business Meeting with
important issues on the agenda, such as elections and the future of
Oikosnet Europe. Walter Lüssi was reelected unanimously as President of
Oikosnet and Katerina Karkala as a new member of the Board.

The Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece at DW Akademie

Participation in media training course concerning religion and media and
communicating religions’ responsibility for peace in the European area,
took place between 16-21 August 2020 for the member team of the
Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, represented by its
permanent scientific associate and project manager Mr. Sergios Voilas
who was invited as appointed by the Director of the Interorthodox
Centre, Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopylae.

Such an initiative first occurred in autumn 2016 as part of
collaboration with Germany’s Federal Foreign Office and aiming for
leading representatives of major religions to be given a chance to
promote dialogue and convey the peaceful values of their faiths. This
year DW Akademie media training was held in Bonn with approx. 15 chosen
participants from Europe while having the ability to participate either
via physical presence or online.

Faith representatives who deal with peace processes in each ones society
get the message out to the public, and exchange good practices on
faith-based peace work.

Communities in CoviDialogue

The webinar took place on July 2nd 2020, with the support of KAICIID.
Responsible for the project was Mr. Sergios Voilas, permanent research
associate and project manager of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church
of Greece and KAICIID Fellow. Through this initiative we tried to
address issues such as: the responsibility and challenges that religious
leaders face, problems caused to religious communities having religious
life while being on social distancing due to the Covid-19 pandemic,
collaboration among religious leaders and health professionals, matters
of discrimination and stigmatism and of course how important role
educators play for their students to learn how to protect their physical
and psychological health.

Moderator: Sergios Voilas, Permanent Research Associate and Project
Manager of Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece and KAICIID
Fellow.

Speakers: Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopylae, Director of the
Interothodox Centre of the Church of Greece, Archbishop Kegham
Khatcherian, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Greece, Rabbi
of Athens Gabriel Negrin, Basia Rahmi, President of the Teachers’
Association of Muslim Religion of Thrace, Dimitra Kavvatha Doctor,
Infectious Disease Specialist, Director of the N.H.S. at University
General Hospital “Attikon”, Eleni Tsetsekou, Head of Human Rights Unit,
Council of Europe.

European Council of Religious Leaders – New challenges

Due to the pandemic of Covid-19 the originally planned meeting in Birmingham was cancelled and the esteemed members of the ECRL Council, among of which His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis of Thermopylae, Director of the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece, gather for an online meeting on the 25th of June 2020. So, another opportunity was created for reflection and discussion about the new challenges that all communities and religious leaders face through this global crisis. Moreover ECRL with its work and history is evolving, working together with Religions for Peace in Europe and going forward. President Revd Dr Thomas Wipf chaired the meeting.

Walking inter-religiously, walk the path of dialogue, an initiative by the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece and KAICIID International Fellows Programme

A first group of people, a team of 35 women and men, dealing with educational matters among which many teachers participated in the program that the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece ran between 19-20 October 2019 in Athens.
The program took place for the first time and was successfully embraced by the participants due to the unique nature of this seminar concerning issues of peaceful coexistence and social cohesion.
On the 19th of October all the participants gathered together at the seminar room of the Interorthodox Centre at the Holy Monastery of Pendeli and were shown two presentations by Sergios Voilas and Christos Nasios. Sergios Voilas presented the nature of the initiative and a guide that is a useful tool for each one who wants to become leader in taking groups to visit religious sites and to take learning experience to another level as field learning opportunity. Christos Nasios shared with the participants various pedagogical tools and information about the visits and the necessary preparations to be made beforehand.
On the 20th of October we visited certain places as part of our program. We visited the Jewish Synagogue in Athens; we attended a scheduled tour at the Museum of Islamic Art and we continued by visiting the Armenian Orthodox Cathedral.

A debrief following the sites visit will take place the days to come at the Interorthodox Centre for every participant to reflect and share their experiences.

The initiative Walking inter-religiously, walk the path of dialogue was implemented with the scholarship of KAICIID International Fellows Programme to Mr. Sergios Voilas and the Interorthodox Centre of the Church of Greece.