“After years of religious discrimination, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted to adopt a Berman-Cicilline Amendment which aims to end the oppression of Turkey’s Christian minority,” Christian Post reports.
By Christine Thomasos
7/22/2011 Turkey (Christian Post) – After years of religious discrimination, the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted to adopt a Berman-Cicilline Amendment which aims to end the oppression of Turkey’s Christian minority.
The 43-1 house vote that added a “return of churches” passage to H.R. 2583, a State Department-Foreign Relation Authorization Act, called for the protection of Christian citizens. Armenian, Greek and Assyrian-Chaldean appear to be the groups most affected by the amendment that recognizes the mistreatment of their people practicing Christianity in Turkey.
The driving force behind the passage of the amendment was Republican California Representative Ed Royce, who said it is important to recognize the wrongs being committed against Christians in Turkey.
“Religious minorities are under grave threat in today's Turkey," said Royce, a Republican from California. "Rather than enjoying protection, very vulnerable religious minority groups including the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church are denied full legal status.”
Ken Hachikian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, said the congressional committee vote was a step in the right direction for Christians in Turkey.
“We won this landmark victory in the face of years of Turkey’s lies about its supposed tolerance, and despite its token conversion of a few ancient churches,” said Hachikian, according to CNN-Turkey.
“This is a vote of justice against injustice,” said Aykazian. “I hope that this will be the first of many steps towards preserving Armenian Christian heritage in Turkey.”