The Armenian Catholicosate Of Cilicia And The Organization ForIntern


Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information
Department Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70317

Armenian version:




We give thanks to Almighty God who gave us the opportunity, as the
representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Armenian
Catholicosate of Cilicia, to meet again to reflect together on common
issues and challenges facing humanity in general, and Christianity
and Islam in particular. The conference took place under the auspices
of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia, and Hojat e-Islam
ou Muslimin Mohammad Iraki, the President of the Organization for
International Inter-religious Relations of the Islamic Republic of
Iran, from 20-22 May 2004, in Antelias, Lebanon.

We addressed common matters pertaining to the place and role of
religion in society. We also dealt with issues and concerns of
spiritual, moral, social and legal nature, related to the co-existence
of Armenians and Iranians in Iran and the long-standing relations
between these two nations. We devoted two sessions for dialogue
with the representatives of the Middle East Councils of Churches,
the Committee of Christian-Muslim Dialogue and Christian and Muslim
community leaders. In our presentations and deliberations we emphasized
the following points:

1) In spite of their differences, dialogue is imperative between
religions and particularly between Islam and Christianity. As
monotheistic religions, the two religions share common values
and traditions. It is vitally important, therefore, that organized
dialogues aimed at closer collaboration take place between Islam and
Christianity on local, regional and international levels and according
to specific contexts and environments.

2) Spiritual and moral values and principles constitute the esse and
the basis of a society without which a given society is doomed to lose
its identity, raison d’être and purpose. These values and principles
must under gird the life of all societies, including decision-making
as well as internal and external relations.

3) In a world marked by growing crises working for peace must occupy
a central place in Christian-Muslim collaboration. But it is not
possible to establish peace without justice. In fact, peace and
justice are God’s gifts to humanity. Without peace and justice the
life of a society will be dominated by evil forces, wars and violence.

4) Islam and Christianity reject violence in all its forms and
expressions and support non-violent action. They also reject all forms
of occupation and associate themselves with the struggle of people
for freedom, justice, sovereignty and human rights. In this respect,
the conference underlined the following:

First, we fully support the right of the Palestinian people to
have an independent state, and the return of all refugees to their
homeland. The State of Israel must withdraw its forces from all
occupied territories including the Shebaa farms in South Lebanon,
Golan hights and Jerusalem. Only justice can bring about lasting,
real and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

Second, we strongly support the right of Iraq to restore its freedom,
territorial integrity and sovereignty. The occupying forces must
leave Iraq and the reconstruction and rehabilitation process must
soon start with the full and active participation of all communities
and citizens of Iraq.

5) The coexistence between the Christian and Muslim communities must
be based on mutual respect and trust. In this context, the organized
presence of the Armenian communities in the Muslim countries
and particularly in the Arab world, the religious and cultural
liberties that they enjoy and the active participation that they
bring in the progress of the region is, indeed, a concrete example of
Christian-Muslim peaceful coexistence. Furthermore, the centuries-old
coexistence of Iranians and Armenians in the Islamic Republic of
Iran, strengthened by historical affinities and close friendship, is
another eloquent example of dialogue of life which characterize our
societies in this part of the world. We believe that many possibilities
of greater collaboration between Muslims and Christians, as well as
between Muslims and Armenians in Iran and the world at large do exist,
which need to be explored together in the near future.

22 May 2004

Antelias, Lebanon


View printable pictures here:


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS