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Contact U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Members to Support Amendment on Putting Pressure on Turkey to Return Christian Churches

TO: AHI Chapter Presidents, Congressional Contact Team Leaders, Members & Friends
FROM: Nick Larigakis, AHI President
DATE: Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Re: CONTACT U.S. HOUSE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO SUPPORT AMENMDENT ON PUTTING PRESSURE ON TURKEY TO RETURN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES

BACKGROUND

On June 15, 2011 U.S. House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Congressman Howard L. Berman and Congressman Edward R. Royce introduced H.Res.306 “urging Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties.”

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has identifies the Republic of Turkey as a leading violator of religious freedom, placing its Christian minorities in an especially vulnerable position. Although Turkey regard itself as a secular democracy, the restrictions placed upon its religious minorities, especially Christians, deny freedom of religious expression and practice of faith. Further by expropriation of church properties and refusing to grant full legal status to a number of Christian groups, Turkey has failed to fulfill its international obligation as a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which calls for “freedom of thought, conscience, and religion.”

This resolution (H.Res.306) calls upon the government of Turkey to end religious discrimination, cease all restrictions on gatherings for religious prayer and education, and return illegally confiscate church property.

STATUS

When the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee convenes this coming Wednesday, July 20, at 10:00 a.m. Ranking Member Congressman Howard L. Berman along with Congressman Ed Royce are scheduled to offer an amendment calling upon the government of Turkey to honor its international obligations to safeguard Christian heritage, return confiscated Christian Church properties and fully respect the rights of Christians to practice their faith in freedom.

ACTION

We urge you to contact the members of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and ask them to support the Berman-Royce amendment which asks for Congress to put pressure on Turkey to safeguard Christian heritage and return confiscated Christian Church properties

Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Foreign Affairs Legislative Assistant.

RESOURCE: HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS LIST

As a resource, a list of the full House Foreign Affairs Committee can be found at http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/members.asp.

CONTACT BY TELEPHONE

A List of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee members and their office contact numbers can be found by clicking here.

QUESTIONS?

For further information or questions, please contact AHI, (202) 785-8430, or email demetra@ahiworld.org

THANK YOU!