“A Strengthened Armenia and a Strongly Defended Karabagh Are the Foundations of Our Continued Demand for Justice”

www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org – April 2016

Abridged message of His Holiness Aram I on the One hundred and first Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, on Sunday 24 April 2016, in front of the Martyrs’ Memorial Chapel in Antelias

 Following the Holy Liturgy, His Holiness Aram I addressed the thousands of Armenians who had come to pay their respects to the memory of the one-and-a-half million martyrs of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

His Holiness reminded that gathering that in the commemorations of 2015, Armenians over the world had recommitted themselves to the demand for unconditional justice. Catholicos Aram I said that today the descendants of the Ottoman authorities, Talat Pasha, Ever Pasha and Jemal Pasha, are continuing, through other means, the Genocide of 1915. He referred to speeches made by Turkish authorities in international political and diplomatic circles denying the Genocide, the continuing confiscation of churches and institutions belonging to Armenians in Western Armenia, the attack of Turkish militias on the Armenian town of Kessab, Syria, the massacres in Baku and Sumgait by Azeris, Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan in the Karabagh war, and the anti-Armenian slogans and rhetoric by Turkish groups encouraged by Turkey. His Holiness stated that these acts were calculated to make the world forget the Genocide and weaken Armenia politically and economically. Unfortunately, he noted, regional and international powers, because they are preoccupied by their immediate geopolitical gains, remain silent to the genocidal acts of Turkey. It is clear once more, he stated, that many nations are placing their immediate geopolitical interests above all considerations of human rights and their commitment to historical, cultural and religious rights, and moral values.

He then exhorted Armenians to continue advocating and demanding recognition and restitutions for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 through legal means, reminding the people of the lawsuit of the Catholicosate of Cilicia against the Turkish Constitutional Court demanding the return of See in Sis to its lawful owners.

The Catholicos told the people to remain vigilant in the face of Turkey’s attempt to annihilate Armenian history and Azerbaijan’s aggression against the people of Karabagh. “The diaspora must,” he said, “work to strengthen the Armenian army and apply aggressive diplomacy and advocacy through contemporary global communication.” To achieve effective results, he said, Armenians should unite around a Pan-Armenian strategy, because a politically and economically strong Armenia is essential if we are to accomplish our just cause. “The stolen rights of Armenians,” he concluded, “will be restored only if we maintain a strong Armenia and successfully defend Karabagh.”