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Passage of “Return of Churches” Congressional Resolution a Victory
December 16, 2011—No. 87 (202) 785-8430

Passage of “Return of Churches” Congressional Resolution a Victory

House Resolution Urges Turkey to Safeguard Christian Heritage, End Religious Discrimination

WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) applauds passage of a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives that urges the Turkey to end religious discrimination, cease all restrictions on gatherings for religious prayer and education, and return illegally confiscated church property. The resolution, H.Res.306, was passed by voice vote on December 13, 2011.

“We applaud the resolution’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives, and we view it as a victory for the community,” said AHI President Nick Larigakis. “We thank the resolution’s sponsors, Congressmen Ed Royce and Howard Berman for seeing the legislation through to approval. We also appreciate all of the co-sponsors of the resolution, which enjoyed significant bipartisan support, including the Republican and Democratic co-chairs of the Hellenic, Armenian, and Human Rights caucuses. We call on the Senate to introduce and pass a similar resolution so that the complete sense of the U.S. Congress can be expressed on this most important issue of religious freedom.”

During floor debate, Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who co-chairs the Turkish Caucus, led the opposition to the resolution.

H.Res.306 contained language similar to legislation that passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a substantial bipartisan vote of 43 to 1 on July 20, 2011.

The American Hellenic Institute is an independent non-profit Greek American public policy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, and within the Greek American community.


For additional information, please contact Demetra Atsaloglou at (202) 785-8430 or at For general information about the activities of AHI, please see our website at