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North Dakota adopts religious freedom resolution in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The North Dakota state Senate has adopted a resolution in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  With this action, the North Dakota Senate joins 33 other states that have adopted similar resolutions of support.

The resolution, sponsored by Senator Tim Mathern and Representative Andrew Maragos, calls on the Turkish government to discontinue a number of discriminatory policies directed at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, threatening the existence of this almost 2,000 year old Holy See of Christianity.

The resolution has the active support of the leadership of the two largest Christian denominations in the state: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the North Dakota Catholic Conference of Bishops, as well as the members of the Orthodox communities in North Dakota.

Senator Mathern commented, “This was a victory for the spirit of ecumenism in North Dakota and an expression of support for our sisters and brothers in Turkey.”

The effort in North Dakota is being led by Father Oliver Herbel of Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Fargo, and Father Anastassy Fehr of Saint Peter the Aleut Orthodox Church in Minot.

Father Herbel said, “This resolution is important to the Orthodox in North Dakota because of the Ecumenical Patriarch’s leadership in world wide Orthodox administration.  We are proud and gratified that the resolution has also received support from the Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America leadership in North Dakota.”

The North Dakota resolution initiative is part of the national State Religious Freedom Resolution project of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America.

The goal of this project, which represents one component of the overall, multi-faceted religious freedom initiative, is the adoption of religious freedom resolutions in support of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in every state legislature. This project is an ongoing effort of the Order of Saint Andrew and represents an important part of the governmental and public affairs strategy of the Religious Freedom Initiative.

For further information, contact Dr. Anthony J. Limberakis, MD, National Commander of the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle at Also visit for resolution updates for each state.

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