Vasileios of Dryinoupolis

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Bishop Vasileios of Dryinoupolis (Greek: Βασίλειος Δρυϊνουπόλεως; 1858-1936; born Vasileios Papachristou, Βασίλειος Παπαχρήστου) was a Greek priest and was one of the most important religious figures of the Greek Orthodox church in Northern Epirus of his time and member of the provisional Government of Northern Epirus (1914).

Vasileios was born in the village of Labovë e Kryqit (Labovë of the Cross) in Gjirokastër District (in present-day Libohovë municipality) and became prominent figure, as bishop of Dryinoupolis (a region incorporating modern southwest Albania, centered in Gjirokastër).

In February 1914 Vasileios together participated in the declaration of the Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus and signed the declaration of Autonomy as a member of the provisional Government under Georgios Christakis-Zografos. In the following months he was named Minister of Justice and Religion.[1]

When, in September 1916, Italian troops entered the region, their first actions were to close all Greek schools in the region and to expel Vasileios to Greece. He later protested to the Greek Prime Minister. Eleftherios Venizelos, against his unprovoked expulsion.[2] Following the Greco-Turkish War, Northern Epirus was acquired by Albania in 1921, further preventing his return.


  1. ^ Von den Balkankriegen zum ersten Weltkrieg: Kleinstaatenpolitik und ethnische Selbstbestimmung auf dem Balkan. Katrin Boeckh. Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 1996. ISBN 3-486-56173-1 (German). pp. 114
  2. ^ Albania's Captives. Pyrrhus J. Ruches. Argonaut, 1965. p. 103.