On November 3, at the Holy See of Saint Etchmiadzin, President Serzh Sargsyan attended the Diocesan Representative Assembly which had been convened to discuss issues related to the Church and national life and to define steps and initiatives to be taken to overcome the existing challenges. The President of Armenia addressed the attendees of the Assembly and answered their questions.
Welcoming address by President Serzh Sargsyan at the 4th Diocesan Representative Assembly of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church
I salute you cordially. Undoubtedly this meeting and the entire activities of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church is not a matter of religious organization alone: it also has the All-Armenian scope and significance. Moreover, for us it has also a cultural, political, and nation safeguarding significance. This is a reality which has been shaped historically.
Thus, you can further rely, even on a greater scale, on the multifaceted support of the Armenian state. When I say “you”, I mean the Armenian Apostolic Church with all of its Dioceses, those serving there and the laymen who stand today by our Church in spirit and heart, with their organizational activities, donations, or just kind words.
I am certainly aware of the agenda of your meeting. Issues on that agenda are pressing indeed. We all strive to be closer to our people, their problems and troubles, to find answers to their questions because people’s expectations from our Church are great. It is a result of the impeccable repute of the Church which was gained by the centuries-long service, and now you have become the embodiment of that repute.
Today, a segment of our nation – Armenians in Syria – is going through troublesome times. This is a historic challenge which must be defeated together. Everyone has work to do – the Church, the state, and of course our communities in Spyurk. The position of the Republic of Armenia on this issue is clear-cut: we are not urging our brothers to leave Syria. The Armenian community in Syria was historically formed, being one of the most viable and strong communities, and we are hopeful that peace will come for all people of Syria and its Armenian citizens. The entire Armenian nation, including the Armenian state, must help those who remain in Syria to preserve the Armenian hearth. On the other hand, we say if anyone has decided to leave Syria anyway, it is desirable that he or she come to Armenia. In this case too, the entire Armenian nation, Armenia included, must help them to settle in Armenia and to anchor in their Motherland.
Dear Attendees of the Assembly,
Nowadays, our country too has entered an important stage of changes. Leaving behind the repercussions of the catastrophic economic crisis, we have embarked on the task of giving a new impetus to our country’s development. Today, we are relatively free to move steadfastly forward on the road of reformation. We are aware of the causes of each problem and can achieve considerable results in overcoming them. We are determined to establish law and order in every segment of the state structure, and we will do it. Forgery, abuse of office, inhumane deeds – all of them without exception will be punished, and will be punished publicly to serve a lesson and to be rejected by our society once and for all.
We have serious progress in the freedom of speech: on this, we have been able to outrun many countries, including some of the developed countries. This is one thing to be proud of and should be preserved at any cost. Now, we are taking drastic steps to establish an atmosphere of justice in the country. We are moving forward by a precise plan which is irreversible. Societal relations anchored in the concept of justice and trust towards the judicial system are standards which we are striving to get and have started to move resolutely forward and very soon we will have observable results.
We have to guarantee a security country for each citizen, a secure homeland, and a secure family.
Thank you for your attention.