A resolution sponsored by State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) supporting the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople in its legal and moral conflict with the government of Turkey over religious freedom has passed the Illinois Senate.
“Religious freedom is one of the central founding principals of this great nation,” said Brady. “It’s important that we support this foundational ideal and actively work to ensure religious tolerance for people of all faiths so they are free to worship as they choose.”
The ancient Orthodox Church of Constantinople, located in modern Istanbul, Turkey, is the “mother church” of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States. Worldwide the Orthodox Christian Church has approximately 300 million members, with 2 million residing in the United States. This church has suffered persecution due to an ambiguous legal status as a minority religion in Turkey.
Brady’s resolution is part of a nationwide effort to pass resolutions defending religious freedom. The resolution asks the Turkish government to, without compromise, uphold and safeguard religious human rights. It urges respect for the property rights of the Ecumenical patriarchate and the right to train clergy. Additionally it requests that discrimination against the Ecumenical Patriarchate cease and appropriate international recognition and recognition of ecclesiastic succession be recognized.