COVENTRY, RI – Greek-American Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis won passage of a Senate Resolution honoring the 30th anniversary of the election of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. The resolution recognized the spiritual leader’s vital in leading the world’s second largest Christian Church, with approximately 300 million members across the globe.
The measure also acknowledged the Ecumenical Patriarch’s important work in defending religious liberty and tolerance throughout the world. In noting his recent visit to the United States, which included meetings with President Biden and members of Congress in which His All-Holiness raised the issue of the Halki Seminary, the resolution thanked him “for his tireless efforts to promote world peace, to protect the environment, to support religious tolerance and liberty, and for being the inspirational leader to the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.”
“The Ecumenical Patriarch’s visit to the United States came at a critical time given concerns over Turkish aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean and it was an important opportunity to welcome this important religious leader and demonstrate our support,” Raptakis said.
In his speech to the State Senate, Raptakis acknowledged that Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline has co-sponsored the “Turkey and the Ecumenical Patriarchate Religious Freedom Act,” a bipartisan measure that opposes the ongoing violations of religious freedom in Turkey by the Erdogan regime and calls on safeguarding the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
“It was an honor to welcome His All-Holiness to the United States in October and November of last year and we are grateful for the opportunity to join once again in celebrating his election and 30 years of engaged and thoughtful leadership,” said Raptakis. “This resolution is our way of showing support for a beloved spiritual leader who is playing an essential role in being a world-leading advocate of interfaith dialogue and peace.”
Video of Sen. Raptakis delivering his remarks is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/9ghhGNH9aB8.