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Contact Congress!
Deadline has been extended to June 5th!


CongressDear Members and friends of Religious Liberty and Human Rights! The Romanian government has failed to restore a large number of religious and communal properties it illegally confiscated from the Hungarian and Jewish communities after the Second World War. Representatives Andy Harris (R-MD), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and David Royce (R-OH) have prepared a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding this untenable situation.  They have invited their colleagues to co-sign their letter.

If you are a US Citizen, you can help!

Here's how:

1) Please call your Congressman today (if you don't know who your Congressman is, please see http://house.gov/representatives/find/)

2) Identify yourself as a constituent;

3) Ask for the foreign affairs legislative assistant;

4) Speak with him/her, leave a message if he/she is not available, and ask the Representative to sign the "Harris-Kaptur letter to Secretary Kerry" on religious property restitution in Romania;

5) Leave your contact information including your address that shows you are a constituent, if you don't hear within a reasonable time, call back, follow up until you receive a "yes" or "no;" and please notify us of your success and results.

The deadline to obtain signatures is now Wednesday, June 5th!

The Dear Colleague Letter appears below:

*"Dear Colleague, (Current Signatories: Harris, Kaptur, Joyce, Smith)

Please join us in co-signing the attached letter to Secretary of State Kerry on property restitution for religious denominations in Romania.

It has been 23 years since the fall of communism and the Romanian government has still not restored over half of the 2,140 schools, hospitals, orphanages and other charitable and civic institutions it illegally confiscated from the Roman Catholic, Hungarian Reformed, Evangelical Lutheran, and Unitarian churches after 1945. The state also confiscated 1,980 Jewish communal properties. Now, on April 17, the Romanian Parliament adopted yet a newer law the government drafted without consulting the effected churches, and against their express objection. Then, in another blow to religious liberty, on April 23 the Romanian Parliament adopted a discriminatory law which deliberately omitted return of archival materials to religious denominations confiscated from them in 1974.

In 2005, the Congress adopted H.Res 191, expressing its strong view that the Romanian government “provide fair, prompt, and equitable restitution to all religious communities,”by overcoming legislative shortcomings and creating an effective implementation process. Nearly eight years have passed since our resolution. Unfortunately, the Romanian response has been a pattern of disregard, delay, obfuscation and hindrance. Of the 7,568 religious property claims submitted after 2002, only 2,400 – less than one-third – have even been decided. More recently, it began persecuting the very individuals, who, in their official capacities, are trying to serve justice and restore properties to their rightful owners. On June 27, the Romanian Supreme Court will decide the fate of three members of the Romanian Property Restitution Committee (Attila Markó, Tamás Marosán, and Silviu Clim) who have been sentenced to three years imprisonment for ruling to return the Székely Mikó Reformed High School in Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfantu Gheorghe to the Hungarian Reformed Church, the rightful owner.

Please join us in urging the Secretary Kerry to focus the State Department’s attention on this long-standing human, minority and religious rights violation in Romania. With the looming trial date of the above-mentioned three individuals, your prompt attention is greatly appreciated."

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