Australian Prime Minister and Greek Culture Minister join Greek Orthodox community in celebration of Easter

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By Andriana Simos, Chris Spyrou and Eleni Patsalides.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni visited the Greek Orthodox Church in Kogarah on Saturday evening for the traditional Anastasi service.

The service was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia and was attended by over 1,000 Greek Orthodox worshipers as well as a number of other dignitaries.

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, with his wife, Jenny Morrison. Photo: The Greek Herald/Chris Spyrou.
(LR) His Grace Monsignor Christodoulos; Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras; the Greek Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni; Archbishop Makarios; His Grace Bishop Iakovos. Photo: The Greek Herald/Chris Spyrou.

This included Mr Morrison’s wife, Jenny Morrison; the Greek Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Christos Karras; Greek Trade Commissioner to Australia, Katia Gkikiza; MP for Rockdale, Steve Kamper; MP for Barton, Linda Burney; MP for Banks, David Coleman; and George’s River Council Mayor Nick Katris; among many others.

(LR) Scott Morrison, Jenny Morrison and Lina Mendoni. Photo: The Greek Herald/Chris Spyrou.

After the Anastasi service inside the church, this congregation was led by Archbishop Makarios to a podium outside, where people had gathered and shared the holy fire among themselves.

Several speeches followed. Bishop Makarios spoke first and thanked Mr. Morrison and Mrs. Mendoni for attending Anastasi, before briefly explaining the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Then the Australian Prime Minister said, in Greek: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death with death underfoot, and to those in the grave, give him life.”

“As I watch the lights here in Kogarah tonight, my heart is full of hope,” Mr Morrison continued.

Scott Morrison giving his speech. Photo: The Greek Herald/Chris Spyrou.

“You light up this country tonight with your faith and belief in your community. And that allows us, I think, to move forward with great confidence.

Last but not least, Ms Mendoni expressed how grateful she was to be able to attend her first Anastasi service in Australia with the local Greek community.

Thousands of Greek Orthodox faithful were present. Photos: The Greek Herald / Chris Spyrou.

This was followed by the traditional chant of ‘Xristos Anesti’, which had to be moved indoors due to a sudden downpour.

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