HEI Symposium fall 2019

Immigration and Healing with Ecumenical Dialogue: West, East, Orient, and Refugees

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 | 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Loyola Marymount University

The number of people who have been forced from their homes in recent years because of various conflicts and disasters is the largest in human history. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, “An unprecedented 68.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee. Among them are nearly 25.4 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.” This crisis is one of the largest modern challenges for our societies and for our churches.

The Huffington Ecumenical Institute recognizes the refugee crisis not only as a challenge, but also as an ecumenical opportunity: churches’ solidarity in helping immigrants can also help them overcome many of their old disagreements. The 2019 Symposium addressed the refugee crisis from various angles. These included how Catholic, Byzantine, and Oriental churches can acknowledge, act, and respond to the crisis, and how universities that embody and profess religious values can make higher education more accessible to refugees. We believe that bringing together narratives of ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, and higher education will bring us one step closer to tackling the refugee crisis.

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Featured Speakers:

  • Father Cyril Hovorun, Acting Director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute
  • Mor Polycarpus Aydin, Archdiocese of the Netherlands of the Syriac Orthodox Church
  • Thomas Sleigh, Hunter College, CUNY
  • Isaac Cuevas, Office of Immigration Affairs, LA Archdiocese
  • Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic, Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the US
  • Elias Wondimu, Loyola Marymount University
  • Michael Hjälm, University College Stockholm
  • Lisa Unangst, Boston College

Session 1: The Situation in the Middle East
Speakers: Father Cyril Hovorun, Mor Polycarpus Aydin, Thomas Sleigh

Session 2: Church Perspectives on the Refugee Crisis
Speakers: Father Cyril Hovorun, Isaac Cuevas, Vana, Bishop Maxim Vasiljevic

Session 3: University Perspectives on the Refugee Crisis
Speakers: Father Cyril Hovorun, Lisa Unangst, Michael Hjälm