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Archon Religious Freedom Resolution passes at 40th Clergy Laity Congress

The Order of Saint Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate introduced a resolution to the hierarchs, clergy, and participants at the 40th Clergy Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America held in Atlanta, GA, July 4-8, 2010. The resolution was passed by unanimous vote, and reads:

WHEREAS, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has been suffering as a result of the oppressive policies and actions of the Turkish government and its agencies; and

WHEREAS, by reason of such policies and actions, the worldwide ministry of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is hindered, and as a result our own rights as Orthodox Christians in America are violated,

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the officers and delegates of the 40th Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, hereby unanimously

RESOLVE and call upon the Government and Congress of the United States of America, as well as upon the Governors and Legislatures of all 50 States to:

Demand that the Turkish government comply with its obligations to provide religious freedom to its minorities and further respect its commitments pursuant to the Turkish Constitution, the Treaty of Lausanne and the several human rights conventions it has signed and ratified; and we

FURTHER RESOLVE, that the Government of the United States of America intensify its efforts and strongly urge the government of the Republic of Turkey to:

(a) Refrain from interfering with the governance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate;

(b) Recognize and acknowledge that the Ecumenical Patriarchate exists and functions as a legal entity and maintains its own legal personality;

(c) Acknowledge the Ecumenical status of His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew;

(d) Take all necessary steps to allow the prompt and orderly re-opening of the Theological School of Halki;

(e) Immediately refrain from any further seizures of Church-owned properties and return or otherwise provide fair compensation for all properties previously confiscated since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey and to

(f) Implement and respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights with respect to minority property rights in Turkey.