The Indiana State Senate Judiciary Committee has recently adopted SR2, a religious freedom resolution in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Once the resolution has been adopted by the Indiana State Senate, then 55 such resolutions will have been adopted by 45 states. Indiana has yet to join this group, in part because the state is divided between the jurisdictions of the Metropolis of Chicago and Metropolis of Detroit. Their Eminences Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago and Metropolitan Nicholas of Detroit have been working together to see Indiana become the 45th state to pass this important resolution.
The resolution calls on the Turkish government to respect the religious freedoms and rights of the minority Greek Orthodox Church in the predominantly Muslim nation following decades of legal disputes, confiscation of properties, and the closing of the only seminary serving Orthodox Christians in Turkey in 1971.
Under the guidance of His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago and Fr. Dean Hountalas, chancellor of the Metropolis of Detroit, Archon Regional Commanders Gus M. Pablecas, John G. Manos, and Lazaros Kircos joined numerous Greek Orthodox clergy and parishioners in testifying before the Indiana State Senate Judiciary Committee. These members included Archon Chris Rongos, along with Fr. Hountalas, Fr. William Bartz, Fr. Lucas Christensen, Fr. Andrew Walsh, and John Ackerman.
The legislative effort was led by Indiana State Senator Lonnie Randolph and State Representative Bob Morris, who also committed to moving the resolution through the Indiana House of Representatives soon.
In 2006, the National Council of the Order of Saint Andrew initiated the Religious Freedom Resolution project. The goal of this project, which represents one component of the overall, multi-faceted Religious Freedom Initiative, is the adoption of Religious Freedom Resolutions in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in each individual state within the United States. The project has been overseen nationally by Archon Stephen Georgeson.
The five other States which have not passed a Religious Freedom Resolution include: Montana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Maryland and Hawaii. To learn more, visit: archons.org/resolutions