New York, New York – On November 8, 2017 the Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America convened a joint prayer service for the United Nations community, interceding for the world’s migrants and refugees. In addition to the bishops of the Standing Conference and the Assembly – who gathered in unity on the solea – and a great many Orthodox priests and deacons – the United Nations community, the local Orthodox faithful, and the leaders of several local Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish faith communities assembled for the prayer.
H.E. Archbishop Demetrios, Chair of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, hosted the service and the reception that followed at the Holy Trinity Archdiocesan Cathedral in Manhattan. After a beautiful service led by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios and featuring the Archdiocesan Byzantine Choir and the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Choir, the assembled clergy and laity were treated to remarks from H.E. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Armenian Diocese of the Eastern USA and President of SCOOCH, H.E. Miroslav Lajcak, President of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly, H.E. Maria Theofili, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations, as well as the host of the event, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios himself. Refugee testimonies were also read by local Orthodox youth. Special guests included Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Serbia.
The Orthodox Hierarchs in Attendance were:
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA
Archbishop Demetrios (Ecumenical Patriarchate), Chairman
Metropolitan Joseph (Patriarchate of Antioch)
Bishop John (Patriarchate of Moscow)
Archbishop Daniel (Ecumenical Patriarchate)
Bishop Irinej (Patriarchate of Serbia)
Metropolitan Tikhon (OCA)
Archbishop Michael (OCA)
Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches
Archbishop Khajag Barsamian (Armenian Apostolic Church), President
Archbishop Mor Dionysios Jean Kawak (Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch)
Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho (Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church)
Bishop David (Coptic Orthodox Church)
Archbishop Zekarias of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Bishop Makarios of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church were represented on the solea by V. Rev. Fr. Melake Hayel Amde Tsion-Durden and V. Rev. Fr. Ghebremichael Yohannes respectively.