Greek nationalists slam Archbishop Elpidophoros after attending Turkish event in New York
Greek and Greek Cypriot nationalists have targeted Archbishop Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in U.S., after he attended the opening ceremony of the Turkish House (Türkevi) in New York City with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
Elpidophoros also congratulated Erdoğan, emphasizing the importance of supporting religious minority rights in Turkey.
“I congratulated President Erdogan on the opening of the Turkevi Center, together with U.N. Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres. As always, I insist on the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the reopening of the Halki Theological School and supporting the rights of religious minorities of Turkey,” he tweeted on Sept.20.
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades canceled his meeting with Elpidophoros, Kathimerini Cyprus reported.
Tatar, meanwhile, condemned the reactions targeting Elpidophoros.
“These politically motivated acts show the level of bigotry and intolerance of the Greek and Greek sides,” Tatar said.
“While the participation of the representatives of the two biggest Semitic religions [at the opening of the Türkevi] is a behavior that should be applauded in terms of world peace, the Greek-Greek duo’s reaction to this and the Greek-Greek leaders’ point of abandoning their meeting with the Archbishop are exemplary events,” he said in a statement.