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Wednesday, 6 June 1984
Page: 2579

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. This petition of the undersigned respectfully showeth:

That the Church of Mary Queen of Peace, Klaipeda, Lithuania was the only church permitted (by the Soviet authorities) to be built in post-war Lithuania.

That the Church was built by the Catholic parishoners from their own resources and with support from overseas Christians.

That upon completion of the church building in 1960, the church was not allowed to be consecrated and, in 1961 was resumed by the State for purposes other than religious.

That this resumption of the church and the subsequent persecution and arrests of the local clergy and other christians is contrary to the spirit and the letter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Human Rights.

Your petitioners most humbly pray that the Senate in Parliament assembled request the Australian Government to communicate most strongly to the Government of the USSR the sympathy of the petitioners for the plight of the Lithuanian Christians and ask that the Church of Mary Queen of Peace be restored to the Catholics of Klaipeda for the practice of their religion without interference.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.