Religious Freedom Today -
Emperor Constantine’s Edict of Milan: 1700 years later
On Friday, May 17, 2013, the Ecumenical Patriarchate honored the 1700th anniversary of Emperor Constantine the Great's "Edict of Milan" by hosting an international and interfaith one-day seminar in collaboration with the Council of European Episcopal Churches at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. The seminar -- which was held only days before the Orthodox Feast of Saints Constantine and [his mother] Helen as well as in the city founded by and named after Constantine the Emperor -- was generously sponsored by the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America. The joint moderators were Metropolitan Emmanuel of France (Ecumenical Patriarchate) and Péter Cardinal Erdö (CCEE).
The Ecumenical Patriarchate in conjunction with the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe organizes a scientific conference devoted to religious freedom in Europe. His All-Holiness Bartholomew of Constantinople has sent invitations for this two-day conference, which will take place on May 17 and 18 in Istanbul.
His Grace Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa will participate in the work of this seminar.
The cause of the conference represents a publication of the Edict of Milan 1700 years ago, when Emperor Constantine and southeast Roman co-ruler Licinius proclaimed religious freedom to Christianity and other religions.
With the blessing of His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, on the occasion of the celebration of the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, a concert of spiritual music was held at the church of Saint Sava in Berlin on Saturday, 9 March 2013.
On the beginning of the concert the dean of the Saint Sava church, protopresbyter Veljko Gacic, pointed out the significance of this jubilee for our Local Church, for all Christianity and for the whole world.
The feast day of the forefather of the holy Nemanjic’s dynasty - the day when we celebrate among the saints our father Simeon the Myrrh-Gusher - was solemnly celebrated in Nis. The 900th anniversary of his birth was marked with this celebration. At the Cathedral church His Grace Bishop Jovan of Nis celebrated the festal vigil service.