WASHINGTON, DC — The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday urged Turkey to ensure religious freedom and return church properties to their rightful owners in a vote opposed by the Ankara government.
After a spirited debate, the Committee approved the Berman-Cicilline Amendment to H. R. 2583, the State Department-Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, urging Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage. The measure was adopted by a vote of 43-1, with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) as the lone vote against this overwhelming bipartisan amendment.
The Resolution calls on Turkey to:
1) “end all forms of religious discrimination;
2) “allow the rightful church and lay owners of Christian church properties, without hindrance or restriction, to organize and administer prayer services, religious education, clerical training, appointments, and succession, religious community gatherings, social services, including ministry to the needs of the poor and infirm, and other religious activities;
3) “return to their rightful owners all Christian churches and other places of worship, monasteries, schools, hospitals, monuments, relics, holy sites, and other religious properties, including movable properties, such as artwork, manuscripts, vestments, vessels, and other artifacts; and
4) “allow the rightful Christian church and lay owners of Christian church properties, without hindrance or restriction, to preserve, reconstruct, and repair, as they see fit, all Christian churches and other places of worship, monasteries, schools, hospitals, monuments, relics, holy sites, and other religious properties within Turkey.”
“Religious minorities are under grave threat in today’s Turkey,” said Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA).
“Rather than enjoying protection, very vulnerable religious minority groups including the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church are denied full legal status,” he said.

1 comment
  1. It is indeed a great effort for the House to pass such resolution urging Turkey to ensure religious freedom and return church properties to their rightful owners. Obviously Ankara is opposed to it because Turkey’s approach to destroying and eliminating all of its opponents was and remains its way to destroy the spirit and soul of all of its religious minorites within Turkey. Lets put some teeth to such resolution and make Turkey what is right!
    As to Ron Paul voting against such resolution and wanting to become our first President, it is a joke and a shame not to take a stand on ending religious discrimination by Turkey. Mr. Ron Paul, for you to become the next President you must go back to gradeschool and learn how to work with your coloring books. You are a joke and a disgrace to America!!! Shame on you!

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