CEC President Attends Armenian Genocide Commemoration

The President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), took part in events commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Erevan and Etchmiadzin, Armenia on Sunday.

The Rev. Jean-Arnold de Clermont, president of the CEC, presented a statement on the Armenian Genocide during which he urged the Turkish government to initiate reconciliation between Turkish and Armenian peoples by a “recognition of guilt and the proclamation of the truth.”

He handed the statement in a private meeting to His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.

At a ceremony in the cathedral of Erevan - which included the president of Armenia, members of government, and a large congregation - church representatives each offered prayers of intercession for the others in their own language. Represented at the event were the Orthodox Churches of Russia, Greece, Romania, and Syria along with Anglican Churches.

The Reverend also said that CEC member churches considered a recognition by Turkey of the 1915 genocide and the respect for the values of the European Union to be pre-conditions for acceptance into the EU, according to a statement by the CEC.

He said that the “atrocities” which happened on the soil of modern day Turkey, were “not only committed against Armenians but aso against other Christian and ethnic minorities, in particuar Greek and Syrian.”

In its statement, the CEC Presidium joined the World Council of Churches in inviting all its member churches “to make April 24 a Day of memory of the Armenian Genocide and to consider further appropriate actions related to the 90 years commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.”