From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Archbishop Anastasios of Albania to Deliver PAOI Lectures

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Thu, 27 Feb 2003 18:56:26 -0800

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February 20, 2003
For more information contact:
Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute
2311 Hearst Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

   Archbishop Anastasios of Albania to Deliver PAOI Distinguished Lectures

Berkeley, CA ? His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios (Yannoulatos) of Tirana
and Albania will deliver the Distinguished Lecture series of the Patriarch
Athenagoras Orthodox Institute on March 2, 3, and 5, 2003 at the Ascension
Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Oakland.

The first lecture will be delivered Sunday March 2 at 1:30 p.m., and is
titled, "Religion and the Peace of the World." The second lecture will be
Monday evening March 3, "Religion and Poverty" at 8:00 p.m., and the third
will be Wednesday March 5, "An Apostolic Experiment: The Resurrection of
the Church of Albania" also at 8:00 p.m. All of the lectures will be held
at the Ascension Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 4700 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland.
Sunday's lecture will be held in the Oakland Room following a light
luncheon. The lectures on Monday and Wednesday will be held in the Richmond

For over forty years, Archbishop Anastasios has been recognized
internationally for his work in mission and evangelism. Throughout the
1960s and 70s, he worked as a missionary in Africa. In 1981 he became the
acting Archbishop of East Africa, working to restore the local Orthodox
Church there.

In 1992, Anastasios was elected Archbishop of Tirana and Albania by the
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As is widely known, Albania had
been one of the most militantly atheistic of the Communist states,
outlawing all religions in 1967 and systematically working to eliminate all
elements of religious life in the nation. Following the fall of Communism,
the Orthodox Church began a slow re-birth and the Ecumenical Patriarchate
acted to restore the Autocephalous Church of Albania. Since the election of
Archbishop Anastasios, the Orthodox Church in Albania has steadily been
reborn, churches being opened and built, clergy being educated, schools
being established, and a radio station and newspaper being inaugurated.

The Church under Archbishop Anastasios' leadership has also worked to heal
the wounds caused by poverty in Albania, the poorest nation in Europe.
During the crisis resulting from the collapse of the pyramid schemes in
1997, which wiped out the savings of many families, the Church stepped in
and offered aid to 25,000 people. In 1999, during the bombing of
Yugoslavia, the Church worked to assist as many as 32,000 refugees who
entered Albania, regardless of their religious background. In fact, the
seminary in Albania temporarily stopped classes so that all the students
could assist with offering aid.

Archbishop Anastasios is also widely known for his scholarly writing on
mission and other religions. In 1959, he founded the magazine
"Porefthendes" (Go Ye) which presented articles on the history, theology,
methods and spirit of Orthodox mission. He has been a professor at the
theology faculty of the University of Athens and has worked extensively
with the World Council of Churches in the area of mission. Elected a bishop
in 1972, he was also the General Director of Apostoliki Diakonia of the
Church of Greece.

The lecture series is one of the signature events of the Institute and had
brought some of the most respected and well known scholars on Orthodox
theology to the Bay Area. The series was recently named for long-time
Institute Director, Paul G. Manolis. While this is the eighth lectureship
since the founding of the program, this will be the first series of
lectures delivered under the Manolis name.

The mission of the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute is to educate,
communicate, promote and sustain the traditions, values, teachings and
culture of Orthodox Christianity. The Institute is an inter-Orthodox
endeavor, representing the diversity of Orthodoxy in America. The Institute
is an affiliate member of the Graduate Theological Union, with a
relationship to the University of California-Berkeley. In addition to
offering courses in Orthodox Studies at the GTU, the Institute serves the
faithful of the Bay Area, providing educational opportunities throughout
the year. The Institute also sponsors the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at
the University.

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