WASHINGTON, DC – Turkish authorities have issued guidelines for the election of a new patriarch for the Armenian Apostolic Church. The guidelines reportedly include a new condition that would preclude clerics serving outside of Turkey from participating in the election and severely restrict the number of individuals eligible to stand for election. The election for patriarch is scheduled to take place on December 11, 2019.

In response, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chair Tony Perkins said, “The Turkish government has increasingly interfered in the internal affairs of religious communities by placing gratuitous conditions on electoral processes for religious leaders.” Perkins urged U.S. policymakers to raise the importance of this election with the Turkish government.

“This latest interference is just one of many that has deprived the Armenian Apostolic Church of its right to choose its spiritual leadership for almost a decade,” said USCIRF Vice Chair Gayle Manchin.

On June 27, 2019, USCIRF held a hearing on the Turkish government’s interference in religious freedom. Witnesses at the hearing— including former religious prisoner of conscience Pastor Andrew Brunson, Cato Institute senior fellow Mustafa Akyol, Johns Hopkins professor Lisel Hintz, and former Turkish Parliament member Aykan Erdemir—testified to the need for elections free of government interference. They also offered analysis and policy recommendations related to anti-Semitic hate speech, the legal recognition of Alevis and their houses of worship, increased fear among Christian and other religious minority communities, religious property seizures, and the impact of the Turkish government’s foreign policy on religious minorities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

Armenia Insists On Lower Russian Gas Price

YEREVAV (RFE/RL) — Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian on Thursday publicly pressed Armenia’s…

UAE FM Abdullah bin Zayed Visits Armenian Genocide Memorial, Pays Respect to Victims

YEREVAN (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of…

Daylight After a Century: Dr. George Djerdjian’s Collection of Photographs of Pre-1915 Ottoman Life” Screening and Discussion

The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), the Ararat-Eskijian Museum,…

Armenian American Museum Announces 2nd Annual Gala on December 8

GLENDALE — The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California has…