FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY - Archbishop Iakovos, spiritual leader of Greek Orthodox Christians in the Americas and chairman of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), will participate in an Ecumenical Service marking the observance of the first Federal Holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20th, 1986 at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta,GA beginning at 10 a.m.
A vigilant crusader for human rights, Archbishop Iakovos aligned himself and his church with the civil rights movement in the 1960's. He lobbied Congress in favor of the Civil Rights Act and marched be side Dr. King in Selma, Alabama on that historic day in 1965. In calling upon Orthodox faithful to join in the national legal observance of the birthday anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr., His Eminence
Archbishop Iakovos said:
"Although it has been 20 years since that day in 1965 when I walked hand-in-hand with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma, I vividly recall my friend -- the idealist, dreamer, activist, Prophet, martyr, pioneer, humanist, hero and above all, Teacher.
A Teacher who taught by his personal example; a Teacher who never stopped reminding us that the 'quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence'.
The march in Selma has not yet been completed. The march toward full recognition of civil and human rights has not ended. As we observe this national holiday let us honor Martin Luther King, Jr. by loudly reaffirming the ideals for which he lived, and, prayed, and, dreamed.
Let us on January 20, and every day, pray that equality, justice, peace and freedom will reign supreme as we pursue the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with determination, with love and peace in our hearts.
Let us with one voice, one heart, one soul, 'live the dream'."
King Week '86 will be marked by a full schedule of events from January 11 to January 20 highlighted by the Ecumenical Service which will include the awarding of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize. The Week will conclude with a National Television Entertainment Tribute that evening originating from Atlanta's Civic Center and from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Sunday, January 19th has been designated United Nations Day and will include an International Conference Against Apartheid with Bishop Desmond Tutu, Anglican Bishop of Johannesburg, South Africa and Major General Joseph N. Garba, chairman, and members of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid, as special guests.
That evening there will be a Reception for All People which will honor Archbishop Iakovos as one of those civil rights leaders who worked with Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Archbishop has also been invited to participate in the unveiling of the Martin Luther King bust in the Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, DC on January 16th.