Dear brothers and sister in Christ,
Today, as our world is gripped with the corona pandemic, we remember the greatest calamity in the life of the Armenian people and the first ever Genocide in the 20th century.
We remember the one and half million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide, whose lives were cut short at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government.
We remember the tens of thousands of Armenians who were deported from their historical homeland during the WWI.
We remember our historical homeland: Ararat, Vaspourakan, Kars, Karin, Trabzon, Bitlis, Moush, Sasoun, Sis, Adana. Our ancestors and grandparents lived in these sacred lands for millennia. In these sacred lands we built churches, schools and community life. In these sacred lands our ancestors are buried.
On this solemn occasion, we also recall the heroic determination in Armenian history, when our ancestors resisted and defied unjust Turkish government’s orders and fought for the defence of their communities in Van, Shabin Karahisar, Zeytoun and Mousa ler.
On this 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it is important to reiterate that despite the tortures, starvation, mass killings and deportation, our people never gave up on the dream and aspiration to live free and in dignity. Although the genocide scattered the Armenian people across the world, our people rose from the ashes of destruction.
Beloved faithful of our Church,
As a Christian nation, we have identified our lives with the life-giving cross of Christ. We suffered with Christ, but we surely share the joy of His Resurrection.
Today, millions of Armenian martyrs, whose bones are buried in the desert of Deir ez-Zor, are the newest saints in the Armenian Church. They are protecting our people through their intercessions to Almighty God in Heaven. Our people were faithful to Christ and share the life that He promised to those who believe in Him. Our people rose from the ashes of death, created an independent state and continue to flourish in the Diaspora against all challenges.
While we are confined to our homes because of the pandemic that has gripped our world, let us take a moment to contemplate on the message of rebirth of our martyrs and continue our determination to work towards justice and peace.
We also thank all the nations around the world who have recognised and condemned the Armenian Genocide, thus expressing their solidarity with oppressed people and showing their commitments to prevent other crimes against humanity.
As British Armenian Community we should also call upon our government to recognise the Armenian Genocide.
Yes, we are small in numbers and today we are confined to our homes, maybe strained and desperate, but we are strong in faith. Our voices in unison will echo even stronger during these days of pandemic. As descendant of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, we will prove that we are true heirs of that generation of survivors and nothing can prevent us from demanding justice.
I believe that justice will happen when we work together, when we are united and when we are one.
Let us join our Holy Martyrs in glorifying the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.