#1: Government Interference in Patriarchal Elections
The Turkish government imposes restrictions on the election of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Hierarchs who vote for him by requiring that they must be Turkish citizens. In fact, the government arbitrarily can veto any candidate for the position of Ecumenical Patriarch.
With the dwindling population of Hierarchs and Orthodox Christians in Turkey, we may not be able to elect an Ecumenical Patriarch in the not too distant future. This is tantamount to the asphyxiation of the leadership of the Holy Mother Church and a clear illustration of the direct intervention of the Turkish government in ecclesiastical matters.
5 Issues of Concern
Daily Scripture Readings
The Hurriyet Daily News reports on 'Hagia Sophia, Halki mark religious freedom panels' by Vercihan Ziflioğlu
An international conference on “religious freedom in Turkey,” was held in Berlin, focusing on the Hagia Sophia and Halki Seminary issues, which have remained problematic for decades.
I have spent the past three days in the German capital, to attend an international conference organized by the Archons, a religious order whose main focus is to protect the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul. But the conference, aptly titled “Tearing down walls,” was focused not only on the Ecumenical Patriarchate or the tiny Greek Orthodox community in Turkey but also other religious minorities that suffer religious freedom violations.
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