Icon consecrated to remember martyrs of the Armenian Genocide
Churches, civil society and human rights groups marked the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide yesterday, 24 April 2016.
A highlight this year was the consecration of an icon of Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide that took place at St Yeghiche Church in London during a moving liturgy. The icon is being taken to other Armenian churches in London, Manchester, Dublin, Cardiff and Birmingham.
Along with Bishop Hovakin Manukyan, the Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland, there were present representatives of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Church of England, the Church in Wales and other and ecumenical brothers and sisters. The event coincided with Orthodox Palm Sunday.
Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day or Armenian Genocide Memorial Day is a national holiday in Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and is observed by the Armenian diaspora on 24 April every year.
On 24 April 1915, close to a year into World War I, two hundred Armenian community leaders living in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) were rounded up and force-marched into detention by the Ottoman authorities.
This gruesome episode proved to be no more than the beginning of the Armenian genocide in which well over one million men, women and children had their lives expunged wilfully, woefully and brutally.
For almost a century, Armenians and their friends and supporters have been calling for the recognition of this gruesome chapter in the history of humankind – or what one priest called rather ominously "the granddaddy of all genocides".
There is still denial or rerfusal to fully acknowledge this horror in some quarters, most notably with the Turkish government. Ekklesia believes that recognising and admitting the crimes of history is a crucial element of repentance, the desire by all people of goodwill to turn and head in a different direction – one in which the 'never again' commitment is matched by concete deeds to atone for the past with acts of justice, love and peacebuilding for the present and future.
* Ekklesia has been pleased to support representations for the official recognition of the Genocide over the past two years, and to provide insightful and expert commentary from our associate Dr Harry Hagopian. Analysis, news, articles and reflections can be found here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/armeniangenocide
* Dr Hagopian's writings on the Armenian Genocide and other issues related to the Middle East and North Africa region may be found here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian
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