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CHICAGO, IL: Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, was a Keynote Speaker at the Annual Raising of the Greek Flag and Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Richard J. Daley Center Plaza in Downtown Chicago on Friday, April 28. Bishop Demetrios joined the Greek Minister of Maritime & Island Policy Panagiotis Kouroumplis, the Consul General of Greece in Chicago Polyxeni Petropoulou, members of the Presidential Honor Guard of the Hellenic Republic, many of the Greek Orthodox Clergy of Chicago and hundreds of Greek Orthodox laity of the City of Chicago at this yearly Greek Independence Event hosted by ENOSIS in honor of the Hellenes and Philhellenes who gave their lives for Freedom.

In his prepared remarks entitled “Greek Orthodoxy and the Revolution” His Grace Bishop Demetrios stated “The honor for our Greek Orthodox community on this day cannot be overstated, and the raising of this flag is not simply that of the Greek nation, but of the Hellenic spirit, which is obviously alive and well here, in Daley Plaza in our own city of Chicago. I would note, however, on the field of blue, the white Cross displayed so prominently, that this spirit is in part what we would call “spiritual,” for the consciousness of the Greek people for many centuries before the liberation of modern Greece in the Revolution of 1821 was preserved and shaped by their Greek Orthodox Christian faith.”

“At the beginning of the Greek Revolution, a Greek Orthodox hierarch—Metropolitan Germanos of Old Patra, blessed the banner that would evolve into this flag we raise this day. And from that time, the Greeks have had occasion to rise to the same heroism in fighting tyranny, such as in the Second World War where the Archbishop of Athens defied the Nazis, and the Greek insurrection on the mainland and Crete was, according to Winston Churchill, a great harassment to the Nazis and a major contribution to the Allied Victory. And when Greeks ventured out of their homeland to find a better life for their families and children here in the New World, it is no coincidence that they established as their community’s cultural and social anchor an Orthodox Christian Church.” Bishop Demetrios continued.

“The Greek flag we raise this day is not simply that of the Greek state situated in south-eastern Europe, surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean sea. It is a flag that demonstrates the faith and faithfulness of the Greek peoples throughout the world to the highest aspirations of Christian Hellenism wherever they may reside, a spirit preserved and perpetuated by clergy and laity alike serving as teachers and healers in the middle of the night, for so long in secret, but now openly to share that bright, beautiful inheritance with all the world.” Bishop Demetrios concluded before a massive crowd within the Richard J. Daley Center in Downtown Chicago.

Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos serves as the Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, under the leadership of Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago. In his position, he travels throughout the Metropolis of Chicago to visit most of the parishes annually. He has received nationwide recognition for his human rights activities and interfaith outreach, including his leadership in ending the death penalty in Illinois, state resolutions calling for Religious Freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and just last year for the official recognition by the United States of the Genocide by ISIS against the Christian minority population of Syria and Iraq.