On April 23rd, Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, accompanied by the clergy of the diocese, visited the Cenotaph memorial, Whitehall, and laid a wreath in commemoration of the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, organised by the Committee of Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG).
Present at the wreath laying were Tim Loughton, MP and Chair of the APPG for Armenia and Steven Pound, Former MP. Armenian representatives also attended such as Mr Gagik Kirakosyan, Chargé d’affaires at the embassy of Armenia, and other members of the UK Armenian Embassy. Further representatives of British-Armenian organisations such as the Chair and members of the UK-based Armenian Community Council, Armenian National Committee and Kevork Tahta Armenian Community Sunday School were also present. Members of the Kurdish and Cypriot communities joined the Armenians, who expressed their solidarity with the Armenian people on this day of commemoration of the first genocide of the 20th century.
Concluding the event with a prayer, the Primate asked God for reconciliation between the world’s divided nations and peoples, and for the renewal of hope throughout the whole of creation. He also thanked the individuals and organisations who tirelessly work for justice, and asked God to bless them for their courage to continue to speak the truth in love.
Every April, following the wreath laying event at the Cenotaph comes the annual ‘March for Justice’ by thousands of Armenians to gain recognition of the Armenian Genocide. At the end of the ceremony, a petition is handed to the British Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street by the Armenian Community Council of Great Britain. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions the annual march was postponed and the ceremony was attended by a limited number of people.