How we got from the the publishing house ‘’Arsinoi’’ to the ‘’Melathron Ecumenical Hellenism’’
The integration of the people of Europe, the greatdanger of deterioration of our national identity, the looming effort to question our borders and the narrations of the people who left, personal stories that compose the special untold history of Greece, were the reasons I decided to occupy myself with these matters. Living in an small village that was being deserted by immigration, watching the ‘’tears of goodbye’’, I was crying too, for all the neighborhoods that were vacating, for all the people I feared I would never see again, but also for those who by leaving, were taking with them, stories that had thrilled me and that I knew I would never listen to again.
I decided to dedicate my life to that. That is when I created the ‘’Hellenic National Line’’ that would deal with all these matters, without being able to estimate then, the cost, the effort nor the time. I had no money, as I was the son of an eight member agrarian family that at that point, thought of the small coffeehouse my father Basilis owned in the center of the village, as the most important thing in my life, the center of my world.
- 1983-1992: The idea of the ‘’Hellenic National Line’’ is fulfilled by the publishing house ‘’Arsinoi’’, which had as a sole purpose, the recording of the untold history of the 1.185 villages in Crete and that was carried out with the collaboration of 30.000 Cretans.
- 1993-2000: The publishing house ‘’Arsinoi’’ completes its assignment and I continue my activity with the ‘’Hellenic National Line’’ company, that carries out the recording of the 14.000 villages of Greece. In 1996 in the USA, I also create the program ‘’Ecumenical Hellenism’’ in collaboration with Mr. Athanasios Agelopoulos, University Professor, and the spiritual auspices of the Archbishop of N. and S. America, Iakovos. The program is carried out by the ‘’Hellenic National Line’’ which in 2000 by finishing the first phase of the recording of the untold history, ceases to exist and its activities are taken on by the new organization.
- 2000-2006: With the collaboration of chosen friends, the program ‘’Ecumenical Hellenism’’ is created, a civil nonprofit organization. For seven consecutive years, it continues the vision of the Hellenic National Line and then ceases to exist in 2007 after the ‘’tiredness’’ of its sundry members. Personally, I continue with my vision, find new members with the same level of passion and inspiration as the previous ones and create the ‘’Ecumenical Hellenism Foundation’’, also a civil nonprofit company, with a working prospect of at least ten years.
- 2006-2016: As the ‘’Ecumenical Hellenism Foundation’’ with a new Board, I continue trying to fulfill my vision. We accomplished many and great things and upgraded the program on all its levels. New ideas were created and the circumstances needed for the recording of the Expatriated Hellenism, which composes our national chapter, matured.
- 2017: With the beginning of our ten year program for the recording of the Expatriated Hellenism, I create the ‘’Melathron of Ecumenical Hellenism’’, a civil nonprofit institution, with new people, that consists of all the previous activities, continuing the vision of the ‘’Hellenic National Line’’.
How the program "Ecumenical Hellenism" occurred
The beginning and the goal of this enterprise were:
- Firstly, the advance of national matters. The sad ascertainment that Skopjans in collaboration with the Turks have filled the most remarkable libraries of Europe, Canada, America and Australia, with their own unhistorical and anti-Hellenic publications. In a journalistic research that took place in the American Universities in the early 90s’, it was noticed that amongst 500 publications that carried the name "Macedonia", 495 were of Skopjan or Turkish origin and that the 5 that were Greek, had the pages referring to Greek rights torn out. Obviously Turkish and Skopjan students, when borrowing these publications, went through with a few "interventions".
The state, which took no action about the matter, brought us to a difficult position worldwide.
- Secondly, the Hellenism of Dispersion. The dereliction of the expatriated Hellenism form ‘’motherland’’ (later the S.A.E was created), the danger of losing their national identity, - even with the strong resistance of our expatriates along with the communities, the schools, the Church, the associations and other private initiatives- and also the intense feeling of love and desire for relation with Greece, couldn’t leave us aloof.
- Thirdly, the dangers of globalization for Greece. The state of our countryside – of our villages mostly, with its desertedness and the settlement of immigrants, the corruption of the ethics and customs, the degeneration of morals and high ideals, the distortion of history, written and unwritten and in the end, the danger that revolves around the multicultural coexistence, for the root of every Greek, were and are the greatest motives for this attempt.
So that we can have our national, religious and scientific conscious at ease, that we, as people and carriers of information, did the best we could even with today’s international conditions, we created the ‘’Ecumenical Hellenism’’ program, a private initiative, essay of two people, businessman Stavros Panousopoulos and University Professor Athanasios Agelopoulos.
Goals and actions of the "Ecumenical Hellenism" program
A. WORLDWIDE HISTORICAL INFORMATION with the free of charge disposal of special historical publications in English, to all the centers of power, parliament libraries and mass media (USA, Canada, Australia, G. Britain, Europe).
The main goal is to manage and cover the big gap of information that exists and to recover the historical data, with the help of a group of reputable University Professors and their scientific achievements.
The first project that was distributed was the two–volume publication <<Macedonia>>. This project constitutes an‘’informal ambassador’’ of the Macedonian history around the world and carries remarkable credentials, giving that it was given:
- From the late Andreas Papandreou, to the President of the USA Mr. Bill Clinton.
- From the Greek Parliament, to the Nation leaders of the European Union at the Summit Meeting in Kerkira, in 1996.
- From the Greek Mission at the Basketball and Football Mundial in the USA in 1994.
Second project, the two-volume publication "SANCTUARIES, STRONGHOLDS OF ORTHODOXY" in Greek and English.
Third project, the "ALEXANDER THE GREAT" in four languages (Greek, English, German, French).
Forth project, concerning the return of the Parthenon marbles, we issued the multilingual publication "GREEK TREASURES AROUND THE WORLD" in 9 languages (Greek, English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian).
Amid the huge multifaceted crisis that infests Greece, due to the big sensitivity of our compatriots, we published the two-volume project concerning "Thrace" in Greek, hoping for an English translation in the near future.
Finally, we started the publication of the two-volume project <<Cyprus>> concerning the island’s history. The first volume will be published mid 2017 and the second in 2018.
B. ENHANCEMENT OF THE EXPATRIATED HELLENISM. With a main goal of enhancing the expatriated Hellenism and our National identity, we have done and are continuing to organize peregrinations to the unforgotten motherlands, monuments of our kind and of Orthodoxy and visits to the greatest centers of Hellenism in the USA, Canada, G. Britain, South America, North and South Africa, Australia and the former Soviet Union.
- We completed 14 missions with about 1.200 participations, (Alexandria, Cairo, Sinai - Russia - Latin America – USA - Constantinople, three missions to unforgettable motherlands, Saint Mary of Soumela - South Africa - Asia Minor, Ayvalik, Smyrna –Australia – Cuba – Mexico – Black Sea Regions – China – Cappadocia, Black Sea)
- We arranged with unique success, 20 events in Greece with 18.000 participations, were the accomplishments of the dispersed Greeks were presented, form the missions we fulfilled. From these events (previews and conclusions) participates had the chance to learn about the great masterpiece the Hellenic dispersion is and were ‘’re-baptized’’ watching the ‘’Greater Greece’’ which due to these reasons…never dies.
- We distributed 10.000 Greek flags to Greek children and schools of the homogeneity.
- We empowered the Church’s missionsand enriched the homogeneity’s libraries with our publications.
- We conducted the first Global Convention for the dispersed Greeks.
C. RECORD OF THE UNWRITTEN HISTORY OF GREECE, CYPRUS AND THE HOMOGENOUS HELLENISM. Specialized associates of ours, since 1983 have been visiting all 14.000 villages in Greece and Cyprus, to manage and cover the unwritten history from the narrations of their citizens. All that time taints and erases. At the same time, we are writing about the most important Greeks around the world and their stories, aiming to save our untold history and pass it on to further generations, which by living in a globalized society, will have been searching for their ancestry and its history.
Written here, is the history of the Greeks who travelled crowded by boats and trains, spread throughout the world and created the ‘’Greater Greece’’. Here are the stories of Greeks whom their fathers and grandfathers mastered in the 40s’, lived Asia Minor Catastrophe and the fights for liberty from the Ottomans and other conquerors.
Main goal of this record is the empowerment of the Hellenic Identity of the second and third generation Greeks. When the dispersed Greeks question or are questioned about their roots and the history of their ancestors, they will find their answers here.