Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan Urges Return Of Confiscated Churches: Ar


2 May, 2012

YEREVAN, MAY 2, ARMENPRESS: His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan,
Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Eastern United States,
called on Members of Congress to urge Turkey to return confiscated
Christian churches and end U.S. complicity in Turkey’s genocide
denial, during a full day Capitol Hill meetings, this week, which
began with the offering of the opening prayer at the U.S. Senate and
ended with an invocation at the annual Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide
Observance, reporta Armenpress citing the Armenian National Committee
of America. The Archbishop’s opening prayer at the Senate was held
on April 25th, at the request of Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed (D)
and at the invitation of the Senate Chaplain. “We thank you in the
name of the Armenian people for your divine mercy in providing them
a safe refuge in this blessed country, the United States of America,
where they were delivered from the depths of despair of genocide and
welcomed with new life,” said His Eminence. “Reveal your infinite
spirit to the members of this Senate that they may be inspired
toward a greatness of purpose and ennobled in their quest for good
governance.” Sen. Reed welcomed Archbishop Choloyan in a moving Senate
floor statement, which commemorated the Armenian Genocide and called
for U.S. affirmation of that crime. “This year I once again join my
colleagues in encouraging the United States to officially recognize the
Armenian genocide,” explained Senator Reed. “Denial of this history is
not consistent with our country’s sensitivity to human rights and our
dedication to the highest and noblest principles that should govern
the world. We must continue to educate our young people against this
type of hatred and oppression so we can seek to prevent such crimes
against humanity in the future. It was indeed an honor to be here
to listen to the wise words of the Archbishop, to hear his prayer,
his reflection, and to go forth knowing that he is a powerful force
in our country for tolerance and decency,” concluded Sen. Reed.

Welcoming remarks were also offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry
Reid (D-NV), who recounted a visit to a church during his first trip
to Armenia, in the early 1990’s after “that very brutal winter when
the Turks had cut off the oil to Armenia.” He noted, “I have fond
memories of my visit to Armenia. I understand the resiliency of the
people of Armenia, and I remember visiting that church.”

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