Religions for Peace Leaders Gather in Greece for International Ecological Symposium

From 5-8 June, theologians, scientists, political and business leaders, as well as activists and journalists from around the world are convening in Greece for an international ecological symposium sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate entitled “TOWARD A GREENER ATTICA: Preserving the Planet and Protecting its People.”


Religions for Peace (RfP) leaders in attendance include Dr. William Vendley [Secretary General of RfP], Prof. Dr. Jeffrey Sachs [International Trustee of RfP] and H.E. John Cardinal Onaiyekan [Honorary President of RfP]

The symposium is designed to explore the pressing environmental problems facing Greece, examining the connections between ecology and economy. Participants will also consider the consequences of forced migration in light of the hospitality extended by the government and people of Greece to refugees from the Middle East and Northern Africa. The aim is to affirm a collaborative response to the ecological crisis, while advocating for a sustainable planet as a sacred legacy for all people and especially our children.




Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officially opened the international ecological symposium “Toward a Greener Attica: Preserving the Planet and Protecting its People” at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

The symposium includes 200 theologians and scientists, political and business leaders, professors and students, as well as activists and journalists from Asia, America, Africa, Europe, and Greece.

In his keynote address, the Green Patriarch observed how “The ecological crisis has revealed that our world constitutes a seamless whole, that our problems are universally shared.” He highlighted the ecological problems of the surrounding region of Attica and Greece: “Much remains to be done in order to reduce the unacceptable trash in the surrounding mountainside of Attica with its deplorable landfills and to resolve the unjustifiable plastic on the floor of the surrounding sea that threatens marine life.”

The symposium now travels to the islands of Spetses and Hydra, concluding with a session on board a ship on June 8.