Papa Stratis dies age 57

first_imgFather Efstratios Dimou, or Papa Stratis as he was known on the Greek island of Lesvos, died on Wednesday after slipping into a coma.The Greek Orthodox priest who launched the set up of the charity Agkalia (Embrace) in 2009, a NGO organisation helping refugees on the island.Papa Stratis had been permanently connected to an oxygen tank that supplied oxygen directly to his lungs as he suffered from pulmonary fibrosis, obstructive lung disease and sleep apnea.Despite his critical condition, with the help of the locals, he had been at the forefront of humanitarian charity in the area since 2007. Agkalia has been providing refugees with clothing, food, water and a place to sleep over the last few years and Papa Stratis would always be there eager to assist even whilst connected to an oxygen tank,“As long as we are useful on earth, God will keep us alive,” the priest would say.In one of his latest interviews for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR Papa Stratis was worried the the constant migrant influx would soon exceed the organisation’s capacity.He was right. According to Frontex, the European Union border agency, nearly 25,000 migrants arrived on the Greek islands by sea the last few days, and many more left their last breath in the Aegean waters.“These people are not migrants, they do not choose to come here,” the 57-year-old priest told the UNHCR.“They are children of war, fleeing bullets. They are life-seekers, they search for life, hope and the chance to live another day.”Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more