Foreign Affairs Institute, in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the magazine “Foreign Affairs The Hellenic Edition”, under the auspices of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, organized an online, two-day International Conference on “Religions and the challenges in the new decade “, on Wednesday 9 and Thursday 10 December 2020.

The conference can be watched in the following links:

For the First day:

For the second day:

The Program was as follows:

December 9, 2020

Conference Launch – Greetings. [Moderator: Christos Karagiannis, Associate Professor – Dean of the Theological School, NKUA]

– Opening of the Conference: Loukas Katsonis, Foreign Affairs Institute, president˙ Foreign Affairs The Hellenic Edition magazine, publisher.
– Salutation from the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew A’.
– Initial Remarks: Blessed Archbishop of Athens, Ieronymos II.
– Message from Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias
– initial Remarks: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Konstantinos Vlassis
– Initial Remarks: Professor Athanassios Dimopoulos, Rector of NKUA.



Answers in a Time of Crisis (Religious Diplomacy today). [Moderator: Elizabeth Prodromou, Visiting Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution, Tufts University]

-Giorgos Koumoutsakos, Alternate Minister of Migration Policy: «Greece’s stance on the religious issues of the Eastern Mediterranean»
-Ms. Kate Smith, Ambassador of United Kingdom to Greece: «UK’s Approach to the Freedom of Religion or Belief».
-Geoffrey R. Pyatt, Ambassador of the USA to Greece
-Eman Al Zeyoudi, Charge d’ affaires of the UAE Embassy in Athens: «Tolerance and UAE’s Initiatives against Terrorism»


The Importance of Identities in International Dialogue [Moderator: Nikos Papachristou, director Press and Communication Office, Ecumenical Patriarchate]

-His Eminence Metropolitan of Messinia, Chrysostomos: «The power of Orthodox Spirituality on the International Stage»
-His Eminence Metropolitan of Sisani and Siatista, Athanassios: «Orthodox self-consciousness».
-Christos Arabatzis, Professor AUTH: « Orthodoxy and Hellenism: the Dual-existent Greek»
-Dr. Michael Lefantzis, Ministry of Culture: « The Monuments and the Identity of the Places of Orthodoxy in the SE Mediterranean and the Balkans: a Testimony or a Threat?»
-Dr. Yiannis Nomikos, Head of RIEAS: « Religious Extremism in Europe: Communication, the Role of Social Networks »

December 10, 2020


Orthodoxy: Challenges and Perspectives. [Moderator: Alexandros Katsiaras, Theologist, director of Church of Greece’s radio station]

-His Eminence Metropolitan of Syros, Tinos and Mykonos, Dorotheos II: «The Orthodox Church against Racial Discrimination».
-Georgios Nektarios Lois, Professor, Singidunum University, Beograd, Hellenic Open University: «The Prespes Agreement and the Ecclesiastical Issue of Skopje».
-Christos Karagiannis, Associate Professor – Dean of the Theological School, NKUA: «Jerusalem: a Meeting Point for Religions and Diplomacy»
-Ioannis Panagiotopoulos, Associate Professor NKUA: «The Church’s Word to the World Today˙ is it Politically or Theologically Correct?».


International Relations and Religious Affairs. (Α’) [Moderator: Ioannis Panagiotopoulos, Associate Professor, NKUA]

-Yiannis Chrissoulakis, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, « Public diplomacy, (language) and religion»
-Aggelos Syrigos, New Democracy MP, Professor Panteion University: «Political Islam in Turkey and its relations with the West»
-Marina Kolovopoulou, Associate Professor of Doctrine and Symbolic History, NKUA: «Universal symbolism of Orthodoxy»
-Archimandrite Aristarchos Grecas, Assistant Professor, Department of Theology, NKUA: «Perspectives of Orthodoxy in the Modern International Environment »


International Relations and Religious Affairs. (Β’) [Moderator: Archimandrite Aristarchos Grecas, Assistant Professor, Department of Theology, NKUA]

-His Eminence Elias, Bishop of Pyrgos of Syria (Patriarchate of Antioch): «Islam and the Pandemic during War Conditions».
-Vassilios Koukousas, Professor AUTH – President of the Institute of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice: «Orthodoxy in the Americas – Recent Developments»
-Manolis Karageorgoudis, Professor NKUA: « Strengthening of the International Position of the Church of Greece during the period 1998-2008»
-Spyros Vlahopoulos, Professor of Public Law, NKUA: «Legislation and Religious Freedom».
-Gerassimos Routzounis, KappaResearch: « The Role of Religion in Shaping the National Identity of Peoples »


The conference was being held with the support of the Greek food production company “EVLOGIA, True Taste of Greece”.