The Helsinki Orthodox Parish Council has endorsed the Thursdays in Black global campaign for a world free from rape and violence.
Maria Mountraki, a member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, also serves as the second vice president of the Helsinki Orthodox Parish Council.
“It is always on my mind, how to expand Thursdays in Black and expand global awareness about gender-based violence,” said Mountraki, who also serves on the WCC’s ECHOS Commission for young people.
Mountraki, who arrived at her most recent parish council meeting toting Thursdays in Black buttons and brochures, said that, as an Orthodox young woman, it is vitally important to her to stay active and visible in the ecumenical world, and support Thursdays in Black as a matter of justice that touches people across the globe.
"Finland as such is no different from any country: we may have been progressive in many things but there still exists gender-based violence and there are too many families suffering in silence,” said Mountraki. “As parishioners, we can offer a safe space and support for people to come up and ask for help.”
Elina Palola, also a vice president for the Helsinki Orthodox Parish Council, said she was pleased to be newly introduced to Thursdays in Black. “I will remember to dress in black on Thursdays, and will proudly wear the badge!” said Palola, echoing Mountraki’s enthusiasm and encouraging others to do the same.