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Remembering the Pontian Greek Genocide in Philadelphia

UPPER DARBY, PA – [Photos: Stelios Lambrou]

The Pontian Society Akritai is one of the oldest community groups in Philadelphia, PA and continues to be an active and dynamic society today.

On May 19th “Akritai” commemorated the anniversary of the genocide committed against Pontian Hellenes from the Ottoman Turks where men, women, and children of Greek Orthodox faith were slaughtered and displaced from their homeland. The society hosted a memorial service honoring the 353,000 killed in the Genocide, in front of the Pontian Genocide Memorial at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Upper Darby. It was a somber and mournful event, with prayers, speeches that brought people to tears, and music that made our ancestors proud.

V. Rev. Archimandrite Avgoustinos Psomas, presiding priest of St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Church in Cherry Hill, NJ, along with St. Demetrios’ former proistamenos, Rev. Gregory Gilbert, and Fr. Christos Christofidis, led the attendees in prayer. In attendance were also the presidents of the Pontian Society “Akritai”, Stefanos Evangelopoulos and of the Federation of the Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia, Georgia Chletcos.

As it was noted, the Pontian Society Akritai will continue to honor and remember those who we lost, for many generations to come. “It was a genocide, and we will never forget”, the participants declared.