YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — On January 14, Public Council member Karine Danielyan proposed at the meeting of the Commission on Religion, Diaspora and International Integration Issues of the Public Council of Armenia, that Armenia needs to respond with a statement to Russian Patriarch Kirill’s statement that the Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire were not annihilated.
The Public Council also stated that they need more explanation regarding the statement made by the Patriarch.
“We need to respond to this statement and expect a more serious explanation, since the explanation given by the Moscow Patriarchate is insufficient,” Danielyan noted.
She added that the Public Council will decide on the format of the adequate response they will demand regarding this statement by the Patriarch.
“I think that we need to petition to the Russian embassy [in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan] with an open letter,” Danielyan said. “Now, we are working on making additions to the [respective] statement [of ours].”
The Public Council following a meeting Friday also said that they were waiting for clarifications regarding the comments made by Patriarch Kirill.
“But if we put military actions aside, which were always accompanied by a loss on all sides, what is happening now never happened in the Islamic world before. Take the example of the Ottoman Empire. Yes, there were Christian minorities, but they had not been destroyed,” said Kirill.
The Russian Patriarch’s recent TV interview, during which he had made the abovementioned statement, caused protests among the Armenian society.
Subsequently, the Patriarch’s spokesperson commented on the given part of this interview. He noted that the Russian Orthodox Church’s stance on Armenian Genocide was repeatedly expressed through official announcements and the Patriarch’s remarks, whose evidence is the Russian Orthodox Church’s participation in the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorations in 2015.
These comments made Armenian media and social networks interpret them as an indirect denial of the Armenian Genocide.
“Nobody destroyed a million and a half of Armenians in their historic homeland, conquered and plundered by the Turks, nobody massacred Greeks and Assyrians! Is this a modern interpretation of historical facts by the Russian Orthodox Church?” The statement by the Public Council asked.
The Public Council expressed hope that the comments by Kirill are not a tribute to the short-term political interests, but are the result of a short-term misunderstanding.
“We are delighted that this interpretation is not backed by the leadership of the Russian Federation, as evidenced by the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire by the State Duma of Russia, as well as by the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin in a ceremony marking the centennial of the Armenian Genocide,” the statement said.