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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Hellenic Caucus Co-Chairs Maloney and Bilirakis Introduce House Resolution Calling on Turkey to Respect Religious Freedom of Ecumenical Patriarchate

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WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), co-founder and co-chair of Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, and Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, Wednesday reintroduced a resolution calling on Turkey to cease its violations of the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The resolution, H.Res. 732, calls on the Turkish Government to respect religious freedoms and rights as defined by the European Union, to which Turkey has sought membership for over a decade, as well as by international law.

“Not only is religious freedom a pillar of American democratic society, it is also critical for global peace and understanding,” said Rep. Maloney. “Religious persecution in any form is inexcusable. As co-founder and co-chair of the Hellenic Caucus, I have long called on the Turkish government to respect the right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and reopen the Halki Seminary. Persecution against Christians and other religious minorities around the world is a security crisis and the U.S. government must remain vigilant in its monitoring and response.”

“The United States must remain consistent in enforcing the expectation of shared democratic values from our so-called allies, including the demonstration of a consistent respect for religious freedom,” said Congressman Bilirakis. “I will continue to join my colleagues and speak out for those whose voices are silenced until the day in which this injustice is rectified,” he added.

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