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Published February 01, 2011, 12:59 PM

ND Resolution Urges Christian Leader Recognition

North Dakota's Legislature is taking a dip into foreign policy. A state Senate resolution urges the Turkish government to stop discrimination against an Orthodox Christian leader in Istanbul.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's Legislature is taking a dip into foreign policy. A state Senate resolution urges the Turkish government to stop discrimination against an Orthodox Christian leader in Istanbul.

The office is called the Ecumenical Patriarchate (ECK'-u-men-i-kul PAY'-tree-ar-kut). It is now held by Bartholomew I.

Fargo Sen. Tim Mathern says the officeholder traces back to the Apostle Andrew and is the leader of more than 300 million Orthodox Christians. There are Orthodox Christian congregations in Fargo and Minot.

Mathern says Turkey limits the patriarchate to Turkish nationals. He says the Turkish government has taken its property and prevented Bartholomew from training new clergy.

The resolution is SCR4014. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on it Tuesday. The Senate will vote on the measure later.

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