WASHINGTON, DC – The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) applauds congressional legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL) to hold Turkey accountable for violating the religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Christians, and religious minorities, announced Supreme President George G. Horiates.
“Turkey perpetually suppresses the religious freedom and human rights of its minority populations with impunity," Supreme President Horiates said. "The Turkey and Ecumenical Patriarchate Religious Freedom Act of 2021 is important bipartisan legislation that will hold Turkey accountable for its intolerance and abysmal religious freedom record. AHEPA applauds and proudly supports the legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Gus Bilirakis. I commend them for their leadership to recognize the United States can do more to hold Turkey accountable for its persecution of religious minorities by adopting the recommendations presented in the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2021 report on Turkey."
In addition to U.S. Reps. Maloney and Bilirakis, the bill has eight original co-sponsors: U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Dina Titus (D-NV), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Brad Sherman (D-CA).
“We appreciate the support from each of the original co-sponsors,” Horiates said. "We call for Congress to pass the bill swiftly and ask the community to raise its collective voice to encourage Congress to do so. Please ask your U.S. representative to become a co-sponsor of the legislation."
In her statement announcing the legislation's introduction, U.S. Rep. Maloney said, “The United States must uphold our commitment to defending religious freedom abroad by holding Turkey accountable for violating the religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Greek Orthodox Christians, and other religious minorities."