ARMENIAN CHURCH TO CANONISE VICTIMS OF 1915 GENOCIDE IN OTTOMAN EMPIRE

ARMENIAN CHURCH TO CANONISE VICTIMS OF 1915 GENOCIDE IN OTTOMAN EMPIRE

ITAR-TASS, Russia
September 27, 2013 Friday 05:07 PM GMT+4

HOLY ETCHMIADZIN Armenia, September 27

- Bishops' Council of the Armenian Apostolic Church has reached
a decision to canonise 1.5 million people of Armenian ethnicity
annihilated in amassed ethnic purges in the Ottoman Empire in 1915
during a campaign that has become widely known as the Armenian
Genocide.

The Armenian bishops assembled in full force for the first time
since 1651.

Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan sent a message of greetings to the
Council participants where he emphasized the paramount importance of
the initiative of the Armenian Church to canonise the genocide victims.

"On the eve of the centenary anniversary since the Armenian Genocide
in the Ottoman Empire, all the Armenians say 'no' to the crimes
against humanity," the president said. "It is our obligation to our
ancestors, to the innocent victims and to the whole mankind in a bid
to do everything in our power to avert new genocides in the future."

Unlike most other denominations of Eastern Christianity or the Roman
Catholic Church, the Armenian Church has not done any beatifications
or canonisations since the 17th century.

Besides, the Bishops' Council unified the rite of the sacrament of
Baptism in all the Armenian churches, since dioceses practised the
Baptism rites differently in their churches.

The Ottoman government systematically exterminated its minority
Armenian subjects in some provinces of their historic homeland located
in the territory, which is incorporated in the present-day Republic
of Turkey.

Mass purges took place during and after World War I and were
implemented by two separate methods -- a sweeping destruction of
the able-bodied male population through massacre and forced labor,
and the deportation of women, children and the elderly on death
marches to the Syrian Desert.

Various estimates suggest that the resultant loss of lives in the
Armenian nation stood at around 1.5 million.

 

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