Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
Email [email protected]


May 2, 2009
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


-- Visits with 16 Legislators during
Marathon Day of Meetings on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, DC - His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate
of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Eastern United States,
called on Members of Congress to speak with unstinting resolve
about the Armenian Genocide and to work to end the ongoing genocide
in Darfur, during a full day of 16 Capitol Hill meetings following
the April 22nd Congressional Commemoration of the Armenian
Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America

The Archbishop's meetings included discussions with Senate and
House members from traditional Armenian American communities in New
York, New Jersey, Michigan and Rhode Island, as well as those from
growing communities in Minnesota, Ohio, Maine, Virginia and
Indiana. Among the legislators he met with were: Sen. Amy
Klobuchar (D-MN), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), House
Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. Leonard Lance
(R-NJ), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), Rep. Tim
Walz (D-MN), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-
MN), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. John
Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-
ME), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI).

Archbishop Choloyan was joined in his Congressional visits by Rev.
Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Pastor of the Soorp Khatch Armenian
Apostolic Church in Bethesda, MD; ANCA National Board Member Ari
Killian, and ANCA Legislative Affairs Director Raffi Karakashian.

On April 22nd, Archbishop Choloyan joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-
CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and over 20 Members of
Congress at the Capitol Hill commemoration of the 94th anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide, organized by the Congressional Caucus on
Armenian issues. During his moving invocation, Archbishop Choloyan
stated "Ninety-four years ago we witnessed the very worst of
humankind's capacity for evil. Today we stand before you and
reaffirm our pledge to give voice to all victims of genocide and
tyranny and we rededicate ourselves to the struggle for truth and

Archbishop Choloyan's complete invocation is provided below.

Photos from the Archbishop's meetings can be viewed at:
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EDITOR: Please email
<mailto:[email protected]>[email protected] .o rg for print quality photos.


Invocation delivered by
His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
Prelate, Armenian Apostolic Church of America
94th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Capitol Hill
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Almighty and ever-living God, Creator of the world, we render
thanks to you for all of the goodness that you have granted us with
your grace and your fatherly care.

We stand before you today in our nation's beautiful capital city of
Washington, on yet another April, the month of life when the barren
earth blooms, but a month of death for your true children of the
Armenian nation who continue to mourn the genocide of one and one-
half million of their compatriots.

We ask you to bless this great land of liberty that welcomed with
open arms the remnants of the Armenian nation. We ask for your
blessings of its inhabitants, its President, and all branches of
its government and all of its public servants. Protect and
enlighten them that they may serve your glory and be instruments of
goodness for the well being of your sons and daughters in the
United States of America, and in the whole world.

We continue to seek your guidance in our faithful service to you
and in our pursuit of righteousness. Grant us the wisdom and
courage of your divine being to serve humanity in accordance with
the highest ideals and values of our Christian heritage.

Heavenly father, we stand before you today with sadness and
melancholy, but still we are filled with hope. We are filled with
the hope of the resurrection. We are filled with the hope of the
promises of truth and change. We honor the memory of our martyrs
and resolve to carry on their dream, continue their struggle, and
perpetuate their memory.

Ninety-four years ago we witnessed the very worst of humankind's
capacity for evil. Today we stand before you and reaffirm our
pledge to give voice to all victims of genocide and tyranny and we
rededicate ourselves to the struggle for truth and justice. We give
thanks for our deliverance from the depths of our despair to this
land of liberty. Our journey ahead may be filled with trials and
tribulations, but it is a journey of faith, and we know that we are
helped by the strength that comes from you.

Bless this gathering and all those in attendance. Guide our
national leaders, especially the men and women of Congress who have
joined us in our pursuit of justice. Safeguard the brave men and
women serving in our armed forces here at home and overseas.

Spread your special grace and protection upon the remaining
survivors of the Armenian genocide, who continue to hope and pray
that justice will "roll down like waters, and righteousness like an
ever-flowing stream." *

We will praise your name forever and ever. Amen.

**Amos 5:24