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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-01-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    France has expressed regret over the interruption of a Christmas liturgy in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus by Turkish troops.

    A French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in statements posted on the Ministry`s website on December 31st, 2010 that France makes an appeal for respect of the freedom to religion and beliefs, among which is the freedom to worship, as defined by article 18 of the Ecumenical Declaration for Human Rights.

    ``France particularly regrets for the interventions, including the interventions by the security units, which prevented the celebration of the Christmas Liturgy in the Karpasia peninsula in Cyprus` northern part,`` he noted.


    The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, Archbishop Demetrios and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes have decried the interruption of Christmas mass, by the Turkish occupation regime, in the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has expressed concern that Greek Orthodox Christians were refused the right to celebrate a Christmas Liturgy service in the village of Rizokarpaso, in Cyprus Turkish occupied areas. USCIRF said that the so-called Turkish Cypriot police entered the Church of Saint Sinesios and demanded that worship activities cease because the government had not granted the congregation permission for the service.

    In response to the action of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in Rizokarpaso, Archbishop Demetrios of America sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dated December 30, 2010 bringing to the Secretarys attention the disturbing and painful event which happened on Christmas Day in the small church of Saint Synesios in the town of Rizokarpaso in the northern Turkish occupied territory of Cyprus.

    The Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) has sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to stop Turkey from following through with its recent threats against the Republic of Cyprus. It appears that the threats and actions are linked to Cyprus` bilateral agreement with Israel to enable joint hydrocarbon exploration through an American company, CEH noted.

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