Most Rev. Metropolitan Ignatios: “What kept the Nation going was the Orthodox faith”

The Most Rev. Metropolitan Ignatios of Demetrias granted an interview to the radio station of the Church of Greece and the journalist Ms Katerina Houzouri on January 8, 2021. Most Rev. Ignatios spoke of the anniversary year 2021 and the actions of the Church of Greece for the 200 years since the Revolution of 1821. The Most Rev. Metropolitan noted that “for a decade now, our Church has been working for this anniversary by organizing a series of ten successive scholarly Conferences regarding the Revolution, where we endeavoured to look history in the eye, because history is no simple matter. Through these Conferences we gained a great amount of experience and we may justly be proud of our Church for noting the facts of history with its eyes open. This is important, because more often than not some events tend to be forgotten, personalities and their contribution tend to fall into oblivion and the vision of the Revolution risks being lost. Therefore, the events planned by our Church as well as the ten-volume work of the published Proceedings of the Conferences give us the opportunity to take another look at history, something we need during this period, in particular, as the pandemic has come to accentuate problematics and demonstrate how easy it is to fall victim to national division, just as was the case during the Revolution and immediately after it. The Revolution has its grandeur but also its weak aspects. We ought to look these too in the eye in order to be able to assess the present and build the future. Our aim is not merely to honour the Fighters and their vision but mainly to see what all this means for our course over the next 200 years”. At another point Most Rev. Ignatios pointed out that “the unifying force, what kept our Nation going, was the Orthodox faith. It was by preserving this faith, indeed inspired by the Neomartyrs, our ancestors were able to safeguard their particularity, their community system, ant to transform adversities into opportunities. They took advantage of the conflict between the Ottomans and the Russians to create a commercial fleet, which they turned into a combat fleet, when the time came. They took advantage of the cracks in the oppression of culture and education to create great Schools. They used the possibility of free movement across the Ottoman empire to create centres of Hellenism abroad. Greeks had this great privilege. Though conquered, they celebrated Easter, by chanting “Christ was risen” like a melody conducive to a national uprising, with the banners of faith, which were soon to become the banners of the Revolution. This is why, at this moment of great difficulty, we too should not lose our courage. This is why the Church too will not suspend the events it has planned. We shall use modern media, as we did on January 4 for the National Youth Assembly of the Church of Greece, which was carried out online with the participation of 100 young people as delegates of the Holy Metropolitanates”. Most Rev. Ignatios made reference to the memorandum of cooperation signed between the Church of Greece and religious television channels of Greece, through which the events of the Church will be presented. Finally he announced the creation of a televised ‘spot’, to be aired as of the coming week, regarding the vision of our Church for the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Revolution.