Orthodox archbishop pays visit to Seychelles


14-May-2009

The Archbishop presents Vice-President Belmont with the icon of the Holy Mother of God of CorfuAt the meeting on Monday, the Archbishop presented Mr Belmont with the icon of the Holy Mother of God of Corfu and spoke about his three-day visit to Seychelles, during which he established an Orthodox Church parish on Sunday.

During his visit, Archbishop Dimitrios met the Orthodox Christian community in Seychelles and held the first holy liturgy and communion for the group of faithful who include Seychellois, Greek, Cypriot, Russian, English, Belarusian, Turkmeni, Lebanese, Palestinian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Serbian believers.

Mr Belmont told the Archbishop: “We in Seychelles warmly remember Archbishop Makarios of the Orthodox Church, who was exiled here in the 1950s, and we appreciate the good work of the Makarios Fund.”

Archbishop Dimitrios also met with Bishop Denis Wiehe of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop James Wong and Bishop French Chang- Him of the Anglican Church, as well as the Chargé d’Affaires of the Russian Embassy, Alexander Gurzhiy .

The Archbishop said the Orthodox Church would like to offer help in the fields of education and medicine in Seychelles.

He added that in Tanzania the church’s work focused on administering to children who are dying from Aids and starvation, as well as on building hospitals, schools and freshwater wells.

Archbishop Dimitrios, who is from Thessalonica in Greece, had previously worked for nine years in India serving the poor, alongside Mother Teresa of Calcutta. He has also spent more than eight years in Africa – as a missionary in Madagascar and as the Archbishop of Cameroon – and served as a priest in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

The Eastern Orthodox Church is a communion of 14 self-governing churches (such as the Orthodox Church of Greece, and the Orthodox Church of Russia) and is the second largest Christian communion in the world, with over 300 million faithful.

It has 52 parishes in Africa under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, as the Greek Church is the protector of the ancient holy sites.

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