The spiritual journey of a people

By Simon Barrow
August 23, 2010

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Armenia. Throughout the week, beginning tomorrow, Ekklesia will be running a series of reflections on the country and its significance from Dr Harry Hagopian, courtesy of Premier Christian Radio (PCR).

You can hear these each morning and afternoon in the Premier Thought of the Day slot ( The text and podcast will then be available permanently on Ekklesia. Our appreciation to Ian Turner and his colleagues for this facility.

Dr Hagopian ( is is an international lawyer and EU political consultant. He additionally acts as Middle East advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Political Action) in Paris and is a regular Ekklesia contributor and friend. Formerly, he was Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches.

Harry - whose own web resources can be found at - is also a long-standing member of the Armenian Orthodox Church, and very well placed to observe both the consonances and tensions between Christian and national identity in his homeland.

Article 11 of the Declaration of Independence says that “the Republic of Armenia stands in support of the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia.”

This is a concern we have highlighted through news, comment and research on a number of occasions ( - not in order to take sides in a national dispute, but to highlight the higher callings of justice, reconciliation and the Christian vision of a peacable kingdom which both transcends and radically recontextualises our temporal commitments.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.