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Preeminent Religious Freedom Organization, the American Center for Law & Justice Joins Order of St. Andrew Efforts for the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Contact Mike Manatos, 202-441-3979; Andy Manatos, 202-441-3978


WASHINGTON, Nov. 28 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The Order of St. Andrew's efforts to help the endangered Ecumenical Patriarchate now have another very powerful ally - a preeminent advocate for "religious freedom," the American Center For Law and Justice (ACLJ) headquartered in Washington, DC," said Dr. Anthony Limberakis, the head of the Order in America. 


"Already the ACLJ's Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow helped us to explain the plight of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to his radio audience over 650 radio stations across America reaching over 1.5 million Americans.  We look forward to additional exposure of this crisis during Sekulow's weekly television broadcast that is carried over Trinity Broadcasting Network and FamilyNet, as well as during his many national television network appearances."  Sekulow stated, "The survival of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey is the most important religious freedom case in Europe. This historic pillar of the Christian Faith is facing extinction. This will not only be a huge loss for Greek Orthodox Christians, but for all of Christianity. We are committed to standing with our brothers at this most critical time."


Limberakis added, "Of even greater importance to the future existence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the ACLJ's efforts with the Order of St. Andrew in the European Court of Human Rights located in Strasbourg, France.  That is handled through their European Center for Law and Justice (the ECLJ).  Sekulow and ECLJ's top-flight international lawyers will, in cooperation with the Order, coordinate the landmark court case."     


At the Religious Freedom Summit held at the Washington offices of the ACLJ on November 17, 2006, the Legal Committee of the Order of St. Andrew voted to retain the acclaimed human rights attorney Mark Muller, QC of London, England to investigate the possibility of filing a claim in the European Court of Human Rights against the Republic of Turkey regarding religious freedom violations perpetrated against the Ecumenical Patriarchate.


"Thankfully, the ACLJ realizes the historical significance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in all Christendom how critical it is to prevent its asphyxiation," said Limberakis.  "This same concern is reflected in a recent U.S. Senate letter about this matter to President George W. Bush that was signed by an overwhelming majority -- 73 Senators.  It refers to the religious freedom crisis in Turkey that threatens the survival of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as, `a religious tragedy of historic magnitude.'


"The ACLJ's extraordinary commitment to this crisis is reflective of the importance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to all of Christianity and to all religions - Christians, Jews and Muslims.  This quality of the Ecumenical Patriarchate was also demonstrated when more Members of the U.S. Congress cosponsored the bill to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew than any bill in recorded Congressional history.


"The recent actions of the ACLJ and the U.S. Senate demonstrate a great opportunity for Turkey.  The perception of Turkey and its historic claim of 'religious tolerance' can benefit greatly by affording 'religious freedom' to the Ecumenical Patriarchate," Limberakis concluded.