An Orthodox Christian
Understanding of the
Armenian Genocide...
-In 1915, the Turkish government began the final phase of a
campaign which culminated in the destruction of over two
million Armenians.  
Most ignored their plight.

-In 1972 the United States of America legalized abortion of
pre-born babies which led to the destruction of nearly the
same amount of its unborn children every year.  
Most ignore their plight as well.

What is the Christian understanding of, and response to, such
gross injustices against human life?  For a Christian there is only
one answer:  We must support and defend the sanctity of all
human life from conception to natural death.  If slavery were still
legal in the U.S.A., would you vote for a politician who supports
its legality?  If the U.S.A., like the former Ottoman Turkey, was
conducting a campaign of genocide to murder millions of innocent
people, would you vote for a politician who supported this policy?

Most Armenians would not.  Yet today many Armenians vote for
pro-abortion politicians who support and defend the legality
of the murder of millions of pre-born human beings every year.  
One cannot be both against genocide and for abortion, just as one
cannot be Christian
and "pro-choice" if that "choice" means the
killing of innocent human life.  Such indifference is reprehensible.  
Once a nation puts aside its concern about morality, it takes a
decisive step towards its own destruction.  As the Psalmist states,
"Let sinners be driven into hades -all the nations that forget
(Psalm 9:17 LXX).

                        -Sub-Deacon Lazarus W. Der-Ghazarian, M.A.
Christian Links on the Armenian Genocide:
1.  How Shall We Remember?
The moving essay by Dr. Guroian regarding genocide commemorations
My Letter to Dr. Guroian
Regarding the importance of his essay for our Church today
To Canonize the Armenian Martyrs:  
A fascinating proposal by Rev. Fr. Zaven Arzoumanian
The Vatican's Historic Plea on behalf of Armenians:  
The history of the Latin Church's support for suffering Armenians
Common Declaration on the Armenian Martyrs and Confessors
By Pope John Paul II and Catholicos-Patriarch Karekin II
Prayer of Pope John Paul II for the victims of the Armenian Genocide
In Memory Of The 50 Million Victims Of The Orthodox Christian Holocaust
8.  Baby Doom:  The Epidemic of Selective Abortions in Armenian  
By Nanore Barsoumian

Links on the Armenian Genocide:
1.  A Case Study   A presentation of the history behind the Armenian Genocide
Ambassador Morganthoau's Story   
The chilling account by the American Ambassador to Ottoman Turkey
ABC News Special   with startling photos by a German Soldier in Turkey
4. Genocide Page Excellent resource for background information
Despite promises ...and acknowledgements, U.S. Presidents have failed to
officially recognize Genocide

Books on the Armenian Genocide:
1.  The Slaughterhouse Province by Leslie A. Davis:  
The eyewitness account by the American Consulate in Turkey of the atrocities
he witnessed and how he risked his life to stop them.  This is his official report
submitted to the United States Government.
Ambassador Morgenthau's Story by Henry Morgenthau  "His account was
written with the authority of a first hand observer & remains one of the classic
accounts of World War I."
More Information on the Armenian Genocide     

For a Christian answer to Genocide and all violations of the
sanctity of Human Life see:  
- The Gospel of Life by His Holiness Pope St. John Paul II

For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.  -2 Cor. 1:5

...We suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing
with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
-Rom. 8:18

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. -Phil. 1:21

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death,
that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
-Phil. 3:10-11

For one is approved if, mindful of God, he endures pain while suffering
unjustly.  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.

He committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips.
When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered,
He did not threaten; but He trusted Him who judges justly.

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree,
that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
By His wounds you have been healed.
-1 St. Peter 2:19-24
Armenian Church Icon of
the Crucifixion of our Lord

What is the CHRISTIAN understanding and approach to the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide?  Most of our yearly memorials,
with there angered calls for "justice," are seriously devoid of an orthodox Christian perspective.  Indeed atheists and modern-day pagans could
have identical memorials.  Where is Christ and His message in such commemorations?  When we remember liturgically the "Holy Innocents of
Bethlehem," do we couple this with demands for justice?  Do we call on the modern Israeli government to admit its ancestor's injustice through
King Herod?
In the book "Faith, Church, Mission," Dr. Vigen Guroian (in the article "How Shall We Remember?") addresses these questions in a clear,
reasonable manner.  Until Armenians understand this message, they will never begin to allow Christ to heal them of their own collective,
perpetual despair.
The Orthodox Christian answer to all human suffering, as Dr. Guroian writes, is our Lord Jesus Christ and his own example.  His voluntary
Passion and Crucifixion gives meaning to our suffering if we unite it to His.  The ultimate victory over suffering and death, which He gained for
us and promised to those who trust Him, is derived through the power of His Resurrection.
13th Century
"For on account of Thee, we are being put to death the whole day; we were counted as sheep for the slaughter."
-St. Paul to the Romans 8:36
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