Syrian Refugee Crisis

East-West Encounter: The Syrian Refugee Crisis, A Christian Response

From Father Robert…

This event is the second annual cooperative gathering of Eastern and Western Christians under the title, “East-West Encounter” where explore spiritual and practical issues of common concern.  This year we again welcome our co-hosts, St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic parish in Charlottesville.   Our event is prompted by the ongoing Syrian Refugee crisis, the importance of which was highlighted by the joint visit by Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis to the island of Lesvos – a gateway for refugees from Syria to Europe and beyond –  in April 2016.

The evening will offer an Orthodox prayer service at 6:00pm, followed by a fellowship reception. We will convene to welcome Dr. Vasilea Digidiki of Harvard University who will speak on the needs of the displaced persons from the Middle East and the responses of local and international Church groups in Christian charity.   Dr. Digidiki has personal ties to the island of Lesvos, and extensive expertise in international refugee affairs and human trafficking.

There is no charge to participate in the evening’s events, however we will give attendees an opportunity to make a love offering to the needs of the refugees – specifically through Orthodox (International Orthodox Christian Charities) and Roman Catholic (Catholic Relief Services) ministries operative in the region.

We would ask that you use this link to Eventbrite if you intend to join us – that will allow us to better estimate the number participating:

If you have any questions or comments please forward them to

This page has links to additional resources and information.

We look forward to seeing you on July 14!  A printable flyer is below.