Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
Address: Holy Etchiamdzin, Republic of Armenia
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*Message of His Holiness KAREKIN II, Catholicos of All Armenians
On the 95th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide*

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, April 24, 2010

"For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness;
the upright shall behold His face."
*Psalms 10:8 (11:7)*

Our Beloved Faithful,

Today, in the homeland and the diaspora, with the celebration of Divine
Liturgy in our churches, and through prayer and reverence at our monuments,
we commemorate the 95th anniversary of the Genocide of the Armenians.

Our people for decades have borne alone the deep sorrow of their greatest
tragedy of the 20th century. Today, countless individuals commemorate the
memory of the Genocide with us, so that such crimes are prevented in the
life of humanity, and peace, justice and happiness are strengthened in the
world. For many years, our people were alone in pursuit of the defense of
their righteous cause, remaining "=85afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck
down, but not destroyed." *II Corinthians 4:8-9*. But relying on their
Christian faith, on the crucified and risen Savior of the world, our people
found strength and power in the homeland and the dispersion to rise with new
life and defend their rights. Today, the Armenian Genocide is recognized by
many nations, states, and governmental and public institutions; with the
conviction that the hope of a peaceful future is the implementation of
justice, the true expression of which is the defense of national and human
rights. In this Holy Cathedral of the Descent of the Only Begotten, offering
prayers before God and the memory of our countless martyrs, we convey our
words of gratitude to all states, public institutions and individuals, who
recognize and condemn the Genocide of the Armenians, and today stand in
prayer with our people.

Dear pious faithful in Armenia, Artsakh and the Dispersion,

We present the case for our righteous cause with our reestablished statehood
and our communities in numerous countries of the world who are respected and
trusted - strong in their spiritual and national life. Yes, our people have
been able to stand once again, but the pain of our losses is not yet healed.
The victims of the Genocide are our exiled diasporan sons and daughters, who
having lost homes and families, deprived of their homeland, lived in
different countries and built their new lives through sacrifices and
manifold difficulties. The victims of the Genocide are those Armenians
forcibly converted to Islam and their succeeding generations, who are
frightened to speak about their identity. The victim of the Genocide is the
Armenian Church, through the demolition of hundreds of churches and
monasteries, the conversion of others into mosques, the loss of thousands of
priests and the turning into dust and destruction of centuries of cultural

For nine and half decades, our people have believed and continue to believe
in the victory of justice and universal condemnation for the crime committed
against them. Our people expect to see the triumph of justice - triumph over
the evil done to them, and the losses, sorrows and suffering they bore. In
recent decades, substantial shifts have taken place in the world. The
formation of international law and the aspiration of peoples to build civil
societies give hope of progress toward a more peaceful and better world. In
this transforming world our hope increases as well, that the Armenian
Genocide will be universally recognized and condemned, and thoughts of
violations of rights and resolving problems through persecution and
falsehood - from where only evil, confrontations and tragedies can be born -
will be forever rejected. Keeping Armenia blockaded, denying the right of
the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh to live freely, and issuing threatening
statements are not in harmony with efforts or aspirations aimed at
establishing security and stability in the region. They do not contribute to
the vision of peace and collaboration. Today we bear the responsibility for
tomorrow and the future. And today we must pursue justice, since justice
decorates human life with goodness, as the psalmist says, "For the Lord is
righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright shall behold His face."

Dear Armenian people, O reborn people,

With homeland and diaspora united, let us conscientiously continue to defend
our rights, with the confidence that justice will come for our people, and
that all states -Turkey as well - will recognize and condemn the Genocide.
Let us remain devoted to building our homeland, to positively transforming
our spiritual and national life everywhere, and to make our luminous
aspirations and goals brighter and brighter. Let us remain steadfast and
firm with the hope of the Gospel of peace, and invest our efforts into the
building of a world that is just, harmonious and free of violence. On this
day of remembrance, let us offer incense and prayer once more, asking the
Lord to keep the souls of the countless victims of the Genocide of the
Armenians in his blissful heavenly kingdom. May the blessings of the
Almighty be with us and all people, and may the graces of heavenly peace and
the love of our Lord Jesus Christ be dispersed around the globe, today and
always and forever. Amen.