The General Assembly of the National Council of Churches USA and its relief agency the Church World Service urged the U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday during their annual meeting to pass legislation recognizing the slaughter of Armenia’s in 1915 as Genocide.
The resolution, put forward by the Rev. Arem Jabejian, an Armenian Orthodox priest from Chicago, was passed with only six abstentions.
The Armenian genocide statement as amended and approved by the General Assembly proclaims that it is “unacceptable that the United States has yet to officially recognize the Genocide of 1915, which in fact decimated a majority of the Armenian population then living in Asia Minor.”
The resolution reaffirmed the support of the NCC and CWS for House Resolution 10, which affirms the United States’ record on the Armenian Genocide.
The house leadership has employed a revised timetable to allow for potential reconsideration of the bill sometime in 2008, while the Bush Administration has said it would harm relations between the U.S. and Turkey, a NATO ally.
“As persons of faith, we express our concern that the truth was not upheld by our elected representatives,” the resolution states.
The statement posted on the NCC web site “strongly urges the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives to bring forth this legislation before the end of this Congress.”
The General Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming the NCC and CWS’s commitment to peace in the Middle East.
The National Council of Churches USA is the ecumenical voice of 35 of America’s Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican, historic African American and traditional peace churches. These NCC member communions have 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50 states.
Church World Service is the relief, development, and refugee assistance agency of these same communions, working in 80 countries around the world to eradicate hunger and poverty and promote peace and justice.