The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the spiritual home of the world’s oldest and second largest Christian church. The Turkish government continues to tolerate assaults against its Greek Orthodox Christian religious minority and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, among them its illegal closure of the Greek Orthodox Halki Patriarchal School of Theology. These actions violate U.S. principles on freedom of religion and U.S. law as expressed in Section 2804 of the Omnibus Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1998 (PL 105-277).
On March 20, 2012, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2012 annual report designated Turkey as a “country of particular concern,” which reaffirmed the Turkish government’s continued tolerance of assaults upon its many minority populations including the Greek Orthodox Christian minority and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. These are all actions that violate the founding principles and laws of the United States. The Commission’s report specifically cited Turkey’s policies that: deny non-Muslim communities the right to train clergy, including the closure of the Greek Orthodox Halki Patriarchal School of Theology; officially do not accord the ecclesiastical title “ecumenical” to the Ecumenical Patriarch, interfere in the internal governance of the Greek Orthodox community, and retain the power to expropriate religious minority properties.
As a result, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)has introduced a resolution, H.Res.136, urging Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
We urge you to contact your U.S. representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor H.Res.136.
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Contact Your U.S. Representative to Co-Sponsor Resolution Urging Turkey to Respect the Rights and Religious Freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate