Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has once again been acknowledged for his humanistic actions. Not only is he regarded as the “Green Patriarch” by many due to his environmental sensitivity during the last twenty years – which is rather rare for a spiritual leader – and as a peace-building agent in Eurasia, but now he is also honored with the ”Freedom of Worship Award” as he has proved to be one of the most tolerant, respectful and kind religious personalities of our time.
Patriarch Bartholomew was honored in the Netherlands by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Foundation as an acknowledgement of his efforts in promoting religious freedom, dialogue and environmental concerns.
The ceremony for the 2012 Four Freedoms Awards was held on Saturday at the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg, the Netherlands, with the attendance of Dutch Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Bartholomew was among the recipients of this year’s Four Freedoms Awards, which are presented each year to men and women whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to those principles which President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on Jan. 6, 1941 as essential to democracy. The awards were founded to celebrate the four freedoms espoused by Roosevelt in his speech: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
“As a citizen of Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew’s personal experience provides him a unique perspective on the continuing dialogue among the Christian, Islamic and Jewish worlds. He has worked to advance reconciliation among Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox communities in [the] former Yugoslavia and has been supportive of peace-building measures to diffuse global conflict in the Balkans and the Middle East,” the institute said on its website.
“He has co-sponsored international peace conferences, as well as meetings on racism and fundamentalism, bringing together Christians, Muslims and Jews for the purpose of generating greater cooperation and mutual understanding,” it added.
This year, along with Patriarch Bartholomew, other recipients of the Four Freedoms Awards include Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil, Ela Ramesh Bhatt, human rights worker from India, Hussain Al- Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy in Iraq and the Al-Jazeera Television Network.