Prelate Salutes Passage of Return of Churches Measure

On Thursday, June 26, 2014, the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted H.R. 4347 holding Turkey accountable for the return of stolen Christian properties in Turkey and occupied Cyprus.

Earlier in the week, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, sent letters to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee urging them to vote in favor of the measure.

In his letter, the Prelate stated; “It is a devastating reality that present-day Armenia is merely a shell of what it once was. In addition to the nearly two million innocent Armenian men, women, and children massacred by the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923, the lands, homes, churches, schools, and businesses that our ancestors so proudly built by the sweat of their brows were demolished to remove all traces of the Armenian people. What makes this tragedy even more appalling and hard to bear is that these atrocities continue to this very day with no repercussion or outrage from the global community.

The Christian minorities that remain in the region continue to be oppressed and persecuted. Our sacred sites and properties continue to be annihilated to destroy every last trace of our existence. We cannot bring back the properties that were confiscated and obliterated, but we can work together to ensure that what is left is protected and returned to the rightful owners. It is high time that Turkey be held accountable for its past and present actions. It is high time for religious and ethnic minorities in Turkey and in the four corners of the earth to be able to live in peace without threat of persecution.”

“We salute this righteous decision by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is a huge step forward in our cause. We thank the leadership and volunteers of the ANCA who worked tirelessly to ensure this victory in the days and weeks leading up to this crucial vote”, said the Prelate upon hearing news of the vote.

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