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Race and Ethnicity Issues Explored on Ancient Faith Today

(Chesterton, IN) During the most recent podcast in the program "Ancient Faith Today," host Kevin Allen explored Orthodox Christian teachings on racism, ethnic separatism, and racial profiling. Kevin's guest was Fr. Michael Varlamos, Orthodox priest and historian. On the show, the two discussed why it was that His Eminence Iakovos, archbishop of North and South America for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese from 1959-1996, chose to join the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the historic 1965 march on Selma, Alabama. (Listen to the full program on Ancient Faith Radio)

"Given the recent tragedy of the nine African-American Christians who were murdered during a Bible study at an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, as well as the rising of racial tensions across this country, I wanted to investigate what the Orthodox Church's positions and canonical teachings are, regarding racial and ethnic hatred," said Allen.

"One of the most public and heroic events in the history of the Orthodox Church in the United States," Allen continued, "was when His Eminence Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese joined Dr. King to march nonviolently in Selma, Alabama, potentially risking his own safety. This event—the 50th anniversary of which we commemorate this year—set a new standard of civic activism for Orthodox Christians."

Father Michael, the senior priest at The Assumption of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores, MI, recently published an insightful article on Archbishop Iakovos and his march with Dr. King. In addition to his Masters of Divinity degree, Fr. Michael holds a Masters degree in Classics from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI, and has spoken in several venues on the topic of race and ethnicity.