From 12-15 May 2014, the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) organized a conference on “Christianity-Orthodoxy and the media in the modern world” in Thessaloníki, Greece. The conference was attended by church representatives, journalists, academics and parliament members from different countries in Europe, US and India.
Leo van Doesburg, ECPM Director for European Affairs & Policy advising, addressed the attendants during his greeting message. Van Doesburg explained the main aim of the ECPM and the need for Christians from all church denominations to work together in promoting Christian values. Recent secularist attacks on these values show the importance of a combined media approach. In his greeting he referred to the OSCE Resolution of 2011 which “encourages the media not to spread prejudices against Christians and to combat negative stereotyping” and “encourages Christian churches to continue their participation in public life contributing to the defense of the dignity of all human beings and to freedom and social cohesion”
Other speakers included (among others): His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bortholomew (via a video message) Mr. Sergei Popov (MP Russian Duma, President of the IAO), Mr. Simos Kedikoglou (Deputy Minister and Government Spokesperson),Mr. Anastasios Nerantzis, (MP Hellenic Parliament, Secretary General IAO), Mr. Mark Beach (Director Communications World Council of Churches), Prof. Grigorios Paschalidis (Chairman of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications of the Aristotle University in Thessaloníki) and Rev. Ierotheos (Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Chairman of the Synodical Committee for the Press, PR and Enlightenment of the Church of Greece)
The IAO is an inter-parliamentary network of Members of Parliament and members of the Orthodox Church. They are representing the parliaments of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia and Ukraine, as well as groups of MP´s from Australia, Asia, Africa and the USA. The IAO is initiated by the Hellenic Parliament and aims to promote unity amongst the different orthodox churches and to promote the freedom of religion and conscience. More information you can find on their website: www.eiao.org