The Greek Orthodox Church of America has demonstrated a significant degree of political mobilisation in critical moments, especially during the 37-year tenure of the late Archbishop Iakovos (1959-1996). As the prelate of the Archdiocese in the Americas, he contributed to the growth of the Greek-American community and helped it become an active segment of American society. Among his achievements was his robust advocacy for civil and human rights, marching abreast with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama. For his pioneering work, he was held in high esteem by his counterparts in the US which earned him access to decision-makers in Washington, DC. Later, Iakovos used his recognition to lobby US Presidents and garner support for his ‘homeland’ in critical circumstances, strengthening Greece’s relations with the United States. But, apart from Greece, Iakovos had also to take care of issues related solely with the Greek-American community as an integral part of American society. The purpose of this paper is to explore Iakovos’ involvement in American politics related to Greece and the Greek-American community - both at the parish or citizen level, and to evaluate his work in the framework of international relations.
Diaspora, Greek Orthodox Church, Greek Americans, Archbishop Iakovos, foreign policy.