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05/16/2024 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – House Bill 3056 of the 117th Congress also known as the “Turkey and Ecumenical Patriarchate Religious Freedom Act of 2021,” was introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York and is a bipartisan piece of legislation that opposes violations of religious freedom in Türkiye by the government of the country.

This legislation outlines the religious persecution of Christians in Türkiye, particularly that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

This bill differs from many other pieces of legislation that pertain to religious freedom in that it furthers the requirements outlined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). In IRFA, the president and the State Department are not required to make any statement providing reasoning for their designation or lack thereof. Where H.R.3056 differs is that if the administration makes a designation for Türkiye contrary to the recommendation of USCIRF, they must provide public reasoning.

While not currently up for consideration in the House, this legislation may prove helpful in future international religious freedom practices if expanded beyond application requirements for Türkiye. If reasoning were to be made a requirement, the State Department and presidential administration would be forced to uncover all related agendas that are potentially preventing the legislation.

With other goals and agendas revealed, it may be possible for diplomacy to proceed uninhibited as politicians and NGOs may be satisfied with a lack of designation if they find the reasoning against the designation satisfactory.

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