MAGDEBURG, Germany—In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the German Inter-Church Council has called upon the churches across the country to commemorate the victims of the tragic massacres.
In an official statement adopted after its annual assembly in Magdeburg, it has stressed the importance of respecting the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians, noting that the heinous crime against humanity has to date left its heavy imprint on world history.
“In 2015, we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. From 1915 until 1922, one and a half million Armenians were killed, and hundreds were displaced from home (the present-day Turkey) and exiled. The 6 million Armenian diaspora scattered around the globe is the visible testimony of that Genocide.
“One centennial has passed, but what happened has left its heavy imprint not only on the Armenian people but also the international community. Even if there are no survivors today, the recognition of that grief and injustice continues to remain actual.
“We respect the memory of the Armenians, as well as the around 600,000 Arameans and Greek Christians (including Catholics and Protestants) who were killed along with their Armenians brothers and sisters.
“The Armenian Church appreciates the World Council of Churches’ efforts towards ‘giving Armenian churches an opportunity to raise their protest and struggle for the recognition of the 20th century’s first Genocide’.
“The Armenian Apostolic Church in Germany is a member of the Inter-Church Council, and in solidarity with it, we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015. In 2005, the German Bundestag highlighted Germany’s historical and moral responsibility for it. As functioning churches in Germany, we jointly bear that responsibility and consider it necessary to refer to it every time.
“Hence, the 2014 Inter-Church Council Assembly in Magdeburg encourages and calls upon its member churches and communities to commemorate it with prayers and memorial events,” reads the statement.
The participants also considered a 2012 proposal for organizing joint prayers with the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek churches.