AAA: Assembly Congratulates Abp Vicken Aykazian on New Pres. of NCC

Armenian Assembly of America

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PRESS RELEASE
November 14, 2007
CONTACT: Karoon Panosyan
E-mail: [email protected]

ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY CONGRATULATES ARCHBISHOP VICKEN AYKAZIAN ON HIS NEW
POSITION AS PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

Commends NCC for supporting H. Res. 106

Washington, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America congratulates
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian who was installed as President of the
National Council of Churches (NCC) in the USA, which is the leading
force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States
with 45 million faithful members in 100,000 congregations in all 50
states.

Archbishop Aykazian, who is the legate of the Diocese of the Armenian
Church of America (Eastern) in Washington, and ecumenical officer,
will serve as the 24th NCC President since the Council’s beginnings in
1950. He is the third Orthodox president and the first from the
Oriental Orthodox tradition to lead the NCC.

Archbishop Aykazian studied theology at the Armenian Patriarchate in
Jerusalem and was ordained a deacon in 1968 and later a celibate
priest in 1971. In 1992, His Holiness Vasken I, Catholicos of All
Armenians at Holy Echmiadzin in Armenia, ordained him a bishop. He
holds a Ph.D. in history and is working on a second Ph.D. in theology
at Catholic University in Washington, DC. In addition to his
contributions to the NCC as a member of the Governing Board, he has
been active in the World Council of Churches as a member of the
Mission and Evangelism Unit, the Orthodox Task Force and the Central
Committee.

The Assembly also commends the General Assembly NCC for urging
Congress to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H. Res. 106).

During the NCC’s annual meeting last week, the General Assembly passed
a voice vote in support of the resolution. The NCC’s statement said,
in part, that the NCC "strongly urges the leadership of the U.S. House
of Representatives to bring forth this legislation before the end of
this Congress."

"I believe that these types of meetings are extremely important for
the recognition of past genocides and the prevention of future
genocides," said Archbishop Aykazian.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public
understanding and awareness of Armenian issues.  It is a 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR#2007-134

Photographs:

ESS_RELEASES_2007/2007-134.jpg

Caption: Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny, right,
congratulates Archbishop Vicken Aykazian on his new position as
President of the National Council of Churches in the USA.

Editors Note: Below is the full text of the NCC’s statement on the
Armenian Genocide Resolution:

Transmitted from the Committee of Reference – November 7, 2007

Resolution on the House of Representatives’ Legislation Recognizing
the Armenian Genocide (H. Res. 106)

The General Assembly of the National Council of the Churches of Christ
in the USA (NCC) and Church World Service, convening in Woodbridge,
NJ, on November 6-8, 2007, a gathering of leaders of churches
collectively representing 45 million Christians in the United States,
values its ecumenical relationship with the Armenian Orthodox
Church. From the 4th Century, the Armenian community has been living
and vibrant witness to the Gospel that is at the heart of our shared
Christian faith. This community suffered through genocide at the turn
of the 20th century, with the loss of one-and-a-half million lives
through persecution by the Ottoman Empire.

The NCC General Assembly finds it 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. This year, after repeated efforts to bring legislation forward
acknowledging this universally recognized historical fact, the House
of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs passed legislation
(H. Res. 106) condemning this crime against humanity. Unfortunately,
due to pressure from an Administration preoccupied with other
diplomatic concerns, instead of embracing our country’s tradition of
affirming human rights, House leadership decided not to bring this
legislation forward for consideration by the full House of
Representatives. As persons of faith, we express our concern that the
truth was not upheld by our elected representatives.

Therefore, the NCC General Assembly strongly urges the leadership of
the U.S. House of Representatives to bring forth this legislation
before the end of this Congress. We do so recalling the NCC’s long
history of support for the Armenian community in its efforts to have
the historical record rectified, and of its equally long history
condemning genocide whenever and wherever it is perpetrated.

Policy Base

"Pillars of Peace for the 21st Century," 1999

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