The late Archbishop Iakovos made history when he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama in March of 1965.
Sharing his reflections in a Greek Orthodox Archdiocese video, Iakovos, who was Archbishop of North and South America for 40 years, said his motivation to march was to take revenge against all those who oppress people.
“I came to the United States from Turkey where I was a third category citizen,” Iakovos says in the video, “So when Martin Luther King Jr. had his walk at the courthouse of Selma, Alabama, I decided to join him because this is my time to take revenge against all those who oppress people.”
Upon his return from Selma, Iakovos said people called him “prodotis” (traitor), others said he should be ashamed of himself and still others said what he had done was un-American and un-Christian.
Calling it the “duty of a man who was born a slave,” Iakovos said that he would stand for civil and human rights as long as he would live.
Iakovos was born on the island of Imvros, in the Ottoman Empire on July 29, 1911. The once majority Greek island has seen its ethnic Greek community dwindle through years of oppression and repressive laws by Turkish authorities.
Iakovos was banned from Turkey in 1966 after his outspoken criticism of the country’s human rights record and invasion of Cyprus.
Watch the video
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Would be great if Greeks stood with the Algonquins or the Lakota or the Chumash or the Lakota or the Arvanites y’all colonized after they helped u win independence.
Would be great if the Greek Church followed his Eminence’s example in any way. Who was a neighbor to those who fell among robbers?
Are you suggesting that this cause being backed is negated by the fact that this bishop isn’t doing the same for the indigenous tribes of North America? Or the Albanian mercenaries you mention, who now proclaim themselves part of Greece? Those people had a mutual reason to fight off the Ottoman Empire (original Nazi-type genocidal regime) since they threatened the entire region of peoples.
MLK stood for all humans on this earth. All people. It’s a shame what happened to the Indigenous and African Americans. That should be discussed but let’s honor the voice that spoke up here about this cause. It’s odd to shame and generalize all Greeks in an effort to diminish what this article highlights.