Karabakh Independence Discussed at World Council of Churches Assembly

His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (center) and delegates of the Armenian Apostolic Church at WCC 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea

BUSAN, South Korea—Numerous suggestions were discussed and adopted during the World Council of Curches’ 10th Assembly in Busan, South Korea. On Nov. 6, the issue of the rights of the people of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to live free and independent was raised by the delegation of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin during the discussion on Stateless people. The delegation called on the WCC to condemn the double standards on the issue.

Also on Nov. 6, during the afternoon business session, election of the Central Committee members was held. Two delegates of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin: Archbishop Vicken Aykazian and Ms. Paula Der Matoian were re-elected to serve on the central committee for an eight year term. Archbishop Vicken was immediately elected to serve on and lead the Nominations Committee as the Moderator.

On Nov. 8, at 10:55 a.m., over 300 delegates from the 345 churches passed by consensus a Special Minute on the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as a result of the official requests by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenian; and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, as well as a result of the ongoing work of the representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church serving on the Central and Executive Committees.

The Minute on the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide directs the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches to:

–Organize in 2015, around the commemorative 100th anniversary date of 24 April 2015, an international conference in Geneva for WCC member Churches, different international organizations, lawyers, and human rights defenders;

–Organize an ecumenical prayer service commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide at the Cathedral of Geneva during the international Conference; and

–Invite all churches to pray for the memory of the Armenian martyrs around the dates of the international conference, and also for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

This minute on the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide restated the 1983 declaration by the WCC that the work to recognize the Armenian Genocide must continue and is an important achievement in the process of recognition.

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