Washington, D.C., October 16, 2020
Joe Biden is a “strong voice for religious freedom globally” and fervent supporter of Constantinople’s “role as the center of the Greek Orthodox Church” and will especially fight for the religious freedom of the Greek Orthodox Church, according to a new press release from the Biden-Harris campaign.
The statement, “Joe Biden’s vision for Greek Americans and U.S.-Greece Relations,” highlights both the presidential hopeful’s past achievements on Greek issues both at home and abroad and his promises for the future if elected president.
Regarding religious issues, the release emphasizes Biden’s “unwavering support” for the Patriarchate of Constantinople:
Joe has long been a strong supporter of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and given unwavering support for the ability of the Patriarchate to function in its role as the center of the Greek Orthodox Church. He treasures his visit in 2011 to the Patriarchate and each of his meetings with His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He has called on Turkey to permit the reopening of the Halki Seminary and criticized the recent decision of the Turkish government to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
Biden’s support for Pat. Bartholomew and the Patriarchate also included support for their project of creating the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” in 2018.
The statement also notes that Biden was the recipient of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s Athenagoras Human Rights Award in 2015.
Vice President Biden promises to “continue to be a strong voice for religious freedom globally, including the rights of the Greek Orthodox Church.”
Archbishop Elpidophoros of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese prayed for Biden’s presidency in August during the Democratic National Convention, though he declined to offer a blessing at the Republican National Convention.
The statement also refers to Biden’s position on Greek economic issues and the current tensions with Turkey.