Catholicos Karekin II Issues Statement on Anniversary of Adana Massacres

ETCHMIADZIN, Armenia–His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II issued a statement on Thursday commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Adana Massacres of 1909, The Etchmiadzin Press office reported.

We present the statement in its entirety below:

We convey our Pontifical love and blessings from the Altar of Light, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, to all our people in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7

This year we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the massacres of Armenians in Adana and various settlements of Cilician Armenia, remembering our countless martyrs, and recalling the grave and catastrophic period of our history at the beginning of the last century. We commemorate the immortal memory of our forefathers, who in ferocious times of massacres and genocide, rose to heroic struggle, who “by their faith they displayed their courage, and were praised by men and justified by God.” Yeghish?

The Cilician massacres were the continuation of the plans of Sultan Abdul Hamid II to “eliminate” the Armenian question by annihilating the Armenian population. In the 1890s, approximately 300,000 Armenians were murdered in Ottoman Turkey through bloody pogroms. The Young Turks, having ascended to power in Turkey, and who had guaranteed the equality of ethnic groups, the defense of human rights, and the security of the individual and of property, greater intensified persecutions against the Armenian people living on their historical homeland and throughout other regions of Turkey. In April 1909, new pogroms were initiated in Adana, where 30,000 additional Armenians were murdered. To defend their right to life and liberty, Armenians relied on self-defense and took up arms, with faith and reliance on God in their souls, and love for their homeland and the Mother Church in their hearts.

The courageous Armenians of Adana, the valiant men of Zeitun, Van, Moush, Musa Ler, and Armenians living in various regions of historic Armenia, struggled to defend their right to life, liberty, justice and peace with a triumphant faith and a spirit of bravery. It is with this same faith and strong will that the brave sons and daughters of our nation have battled in the freedom-struggles of May 1918, on the battlefields of World War II, and the heroic war for the liberation of Artsakh.

More than nine decades have passed since the Genocide of the Armenians. However, our tragedy-stricken people, who lost more than one and one-half million souls in the genocide planned and executed by the Turkish authorities, never ceased to hope for the universal condemnation of the crimes committed against our forebears. And they continue to always raise their voice of protest in the name of justice for the entire world to hear, so that similar calamities never again darken human life.

The Armenian Genocide opened a bloody and dark page of unheard of tragedy not only for our people, but in the history of all nations. The delay in the condemnation of the Genocide of the Armenians encouraged similar crimes to take place yet again, and the world witnessed new genocides. In human life today, policies of ethnic persecution and fanatic nationalism cause serious concern, and demand the unified, universal and immediate condemnation by international society. The expression of the will and desire to eliminate ethnic discrimination, trampling of national rights, violence, inter-ethnic intolerance, and offenses committed against a people, shall be the universal recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian people, with this hope and faith, but with the unhealed pain of genocide and the righteous demand for resolution to the “Armenian Cause” in their hearts, are building a new life in their free and independent homeland and throughout the world.

Dear faithful sons and daughters, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian massacres in Adana and Cilicia, we once again call for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide for the sake of a world free of violence, at peace and in prosperity. Through the blessings and assistance of Almighty God, and the unceasing efforts of our people, the new dawn of justice shall open in our lives, and the righteous verdict will be granted to our Armenian nation. Let us remain steadfast in our faith, in our love of God, our love for one another and in our just cause. Let us remain steadfast in our will and desire to vigilantly protect our native memories and national legacy, and let us always live with love for our Lord Jesus Christ, our Holy Church and our homeland. Let us pray to God Almighty for the unified efforts of our people to be bountiful and produce fruitful results in our national-ecclesiastical spheres, for the love of our homeland and Armenian life dispersed throughout the world, our bright future and the manifestation of all national aspirations.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 1:7


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