Encyclical of Catholicos on the 100th Anniversary of Adana Massacres

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Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services
Address:  Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia
Contact:  Rev. Fr. Ktrij Devejian
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April 16, 2009

Encyclical of Catholicos of All Armenians on the 100th Anniversary of Adana
Massacres

KAREKIN II, SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST,
BY THE MERCY OF GOD AND THE WILL OF THE NATION
CHIEF BISHOP AND CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS,
SUPREME PATRIARCH OF THE PAN-NATIONAL PREEMINENT ARARATIAN SEE
THE APOSTOLIC MOTHER CHURCH OF UNIVERSAL HOLY ETCHMIADZIN.

CHRIST-BEQUEATHED GREETINGS OF LOVE AND PONTIFICAL BLESSINGS
TO THE CATHOLICIOSATE OF THE GREAT HOUSE OF CILICIA,
TO THE ARMENIAN PATRIARCHATES
OF HOLY JERUSALEM AND CONSTANTINOPLE,
TO ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND DEACONS,
TO DIOCESAN ASSEMBLIES,
DIOCESAN AND PAROCHIAL COUNCILS AND OFFICERS,
AND TO ALL BELOVED FAITHFUL ARMENIAN PEOPLE

We convey our Pontifical love and blessings from the Altar of Light – the
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, to all our people in Armenia, Artsakh and
the Diaspora.

This year we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the massacres of Armenians
in Adana and various settlements of Cilician Armenia, remembering our
countless martyrs, and recalling the grave and catastrophic period of our
history at the beginning of the last century.  We commemorate the immortal
memory of our forefathers, who in ferocious times of massacres and genocide,
rose to heroic struggle, who `by their faith they displayed their courage,
and were praised by men and justified by God.’ Yeghishé

The Cilician massacres were the continuation of the plans of Sultan Abdul
Hamid II to `eliminate’ the Armenian question by annihilating the Armenian
population.  In the 1890s, approximately 300,000 Armenians were murdered in
Ottoman Turkey through bloody pogroms.  The Young Turks, having ascended to
power in Turkey, and who had guaranteed the equality of ethnic groups, the
defense of human rights, and the security of the individual and of property,
greater intensified persecutions against the Armenian people living on their
historical homeland and throughout other regions of Turkey.  In April 1909,
new pogroms were initiated in Adana, where 30,000 additional Armenians were
murdered.  To defend their right to life and liberty, Armenians relied on
self-defense and took up arms, with faith and reliance on God in their
souls, and love for their homeland and the Mother Church in their hearts.

The courageous Armenians of Adana, the valiant men of Zeitun, Van, Moush,
Musa Ler, and Armenians living in various regions of historic Armenia,
struggled to defend their right to life, liberty, justice and peace with a
triumphant faith and a spirit of bravery.  It is with this same faith and
strong will that the brave sons and daughters of our nation have battled in
the freedom-struggles of May 1918, on the battlefields of World War II, and
the heroic war for the liberation of Artsakh.

More than nine decades have passed since the Genocide of the Armenians. 
However, our tragedy-stricken people, who lost more than one and one-half
million souls in the genocide planned and executed by the Turkish
authorities, never ceased to hope for the universal condemnation of the
crimes committed against our forebears.  And they continue to always raise
their voice of protest in the name of justice for the entire world to hear,
so that similar calamities never again darken human life.

The Armenian Genocide opened a bloody and dark page of unheard of tragedy
not only for our people, but in the history of all nations.  The delay in
the condemnation of the Genocide of the Armenians encouraged similar crimes
to take place yet again, and the world witnessed new genocides.  In human
life today, policies of ethnic persecution and fanatic nationalism cause
serious concern, and demand the unified, universal and immediate
condemnation by international society.  The expression of the will and
desire to eliminate ethnic discrimination, trampling of national rights,
violence, inter-ethnic intolerance, and offenses committed against a people,
shall be the universal recognition and condemnation of the Armenian
Genocide.  The Armenian people, with this hope and faith, but with the
unhealed pain of genocide and the righteous demand for resolution to the
`Armenian Cause’ in their hearts, are building a new life in their free and
independent homeland and throughout the world.

Dear faithful sons and daughters, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of
the Armenian massacres in Adana and Cilicia, we once again call for the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide for the sake of a world free of
violence, at peace and in prosperity.  Through the blessings and assistance
of Almighty God, and the unceasing efforts of our people, the new dawn of
justice shall open in our lives, and the righteous verdict will be granted
to our Armenian nation.  Let us remain steadfast in our faith, in our love
of God, our love for one another and in our just cause.  Let us remain
steadfast in our will and desire to vigilantly protect our native memories
and national legacy, and let us always live with love for our Lord Jesus
Christ, our Holy Church and our homeland.  Let us pray to God Almighty for
the unified efforts of our people to be bountiful and produce fruitful
results in our national-ecclesiastical spheres, for the love of our homeland
and Armenian life dispersed throughout the world, our bright future and the
manifestation of all national aspirations.

`Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ.’
Romans 1:7

With Blessings,

(signed)

KAREKIN II
CATHOLICOS OF ALL ARMENIANS

Encyclical issued on the 15th of April
In the Year of our Lord 2009 and in the date of the Armenians 1458
At the Mother Monastery of Holy Etchmiadzin
Number 513

www.armenianchurch.org

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