Armenian Ministries Event to Raise Awareness for Darfur

Father Vazken with a Darfur refugee

GLENDALE—An outdoor gathering in Griffith Park on Sunday, March 6 will be the setting to inform and educate the public about the ongoing Genocide in Darfur.

Organized by the Armenian Church Youth Ministries and the In His Shoes Mission, this gathering coincides with the Armenian feast of Paregentan, and will feature musical entertainers Gor Mkhitarian and Melineh Kurdian.

“Here is our opportunity to focus on a real emergency and make a difference in the lives of people and in our world,” said Fr. Vazken Movsesian, director at the Glendale based Armenian Youth Ministries Center. “Today, we’re watching a repeat of the Armenian Genocide. As the world is distracted by turmoil, the biggest evil of Genocide goes unnoticed and therefore is escalating. We as the Armenian community should be the first people to signal the world with this warning and help bring an end to the atrocities,” continued Fr. Vazken.

The outdoor gathering takes place in the Crystal Springs area of Griffith Park from 1 to 5 p.m.  Food will be provided by the church’s Maidens organization. A Darfuri refugee tent set up by Camp Darfur will allow visitors to experience life in the camps. Renowned artist Gregory Beylerian will be on hand to video-record personal messages to the refugees in the camps. Gabriel Stauring from Stop Genocide Now will reflect on his visits to the refugee camps and speak of the hope that looms in the tragedy.

“We as Armenians need to take the next step in Genocide commemoration by becoming activists against genocides taking place today,” explained Fr. Vazken. As such, through the In His Shoes movement over $500,000 has been collected to help children in genocide-torn Darfur. Currently the organization has regular outreach programs including monthly feeds for the homeless on Los Angeles’ skid row. “This is a powerful message of hope, because today, the children of the “starving Armenians” are feeding the starving and destitute of the world.”

“We’re all searching for ways to bring meaning to our lives and the lives of our families. Attending this gathering, you can enjoy an afternoon with friends while learning and acting on one of the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time,” said Suzie Shatarevyan, event organizer.

Admission is free and the public is invited, March 6, Griffith Park, follow the signs to Crystal Springs picnic area.  Exhibits, food, music will begin at 1 p.m. in the afternoon. To learn more about the event and all the programs organized by the ministry visit InHisShoes.org or follow In His Shoes Ministries on Facebook and Twitter.

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