ANCA-WR Activists Help Mobilize Support of Religious Freedoms Amendm

Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
104 North Belmont Street, Suite 200
Glendale, California 91206
Tel: (818) 500-1918

July 21, 2011
Contact: Haig Hovsepian
Telephone: (818) 500-1918


GLENDALE, CA—Dozens of supporters from throughout the western United
States worked with the Armenian National Committee of America-Western
Region (ANCA-WR) in the past week to help mobilize thousands of human
rights and religious freedom activists across the country in support
of the Berman-Cicilline Amendment which was successfully adopted by
the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 20th.

The amendment, which addresses the ongoing destruction and
confiscation of Christian cultural heritage in the Republic of Turkey,
was adopted by a 43-1 vote of the full committee during its
consideration of another bill, the Foreign Relations Authorization

“We are proud of our volunteers who banded together to help make this
this effort a resounding success,” said Andrew Kzirian, Chairman of
the ANCA-WR Board of Directors. “It is a true testament to the power
of grassroots and nation-wide civic engagement which defines the
ANCA-Western Region. We also commend the leadership of Congressmen
Berman and Royce in this bi-partisan effort which is a step towards
addressing the contemporary fall out of the Armenian Genocide and a
victory for justice.”

The Berman-Cicilline amendment called on the Republic of Turkey to
honor its obligations under international treaties to end all forms of
religious discrimination and allow the rightful church and lay owners
of Christian church properties to organized and administer prayer
services without hindrance or restriction. It also calls for the
return of said properties to their rightful owners and allow them to
preserve and repair these properties.

Volunteers working in coordination with the ANCA-WR reached out to
constituents across over two dozen Congressional districts throughout
the United States and urged fellow human rights and religious freedom
activists to contact their Members of Congress in support of the
amendment. Volunteers ranging from students and young professionals
to established professionals and the elderly pitched in for the
effort, including volunteers from several local ANCAs, most notably
the Glendale, Burbank, Greater Hollywood, the San Francisco Bay Area,
Fresno-Central California, and San Diego County chapters.

The amendment was inspired by U.S. House Resolution 306 (H.Res.306)
which is authored by Congressmen Ed Royce (CA-40-R-Orange) and Howard
Berman (CA-28-D-North Hollywood). The amendment was introduced by
Berman and freshman Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01-D-Pawtucket).
Congressman Royce as well as other Republicans and Democrats spoke in
favor of the resolution.

Joining Congessmen Berman and Royce, from the western United States,
voting in favor of the resolution were Congressmembers Dennis Cardoza
(CA-18-D-Merced), Elton Gallegly (CA-24-R-Thousand Oaks), Brad Sherman
(CA-27-D-Sherman Oaks), Karen Bass (CA-33-D-Hollywood), Dana
Rohrabacher (CA-46-R-Huntington Beach), Jeff Fortenberry
(NE-01-R-Lincoln), Ted Poe (TX-02-R-Kingwood), and Michael McCaul
(TX-10-R-Houston) as well as Eni Faleomavaega, the Delegate
representing American Samoa.

You can learn more about H.Res.306 and view the committee proceedings
related to the Berman-Cicilline Amendment by visiting

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the
largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy
organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination
with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the
Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country,
the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community
on a broad range of issues.


Photo – ANCA-Western Region interns counting the votes during Church
amendment hearing
Photo – HFAC Ranking Member, Howard Berman
Photo – Congressman Cicilline

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