ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian offers this comment in anticipation of His Holiness Pope Francis’ historic June 24-26, 2016, visit to Armenia,  the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD.

The Pope’s prayers at the Armenian Genocide Memorial will surely echo around the world.

The presence of Pope Francis at the Armenian Genocide Memorial – over the strident objects of Turkey’s leaders – stands as a powerful moral testament against Ankara’s ongoing obstruction of justice for this crime.

In bearing witness – before all the world – at this most sacred site, Pope Francis is openly challenging Turkey’s efforts to erase from history its massacre and exile of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, and other ancient Christian nations from their biblical era homelands.

President Obama, Speaker Ryan and all our Congressional leaders would do well to follow the courageous moral leadership of Pope Francis in rejecting Ankara’s gag-rule and speaking honestly about Turkey’s near genocidal annihilation of the Christian Armenian nation.

This visit by Pope Francis to the first Christian state both reflects and reinforces the Christian world’s solidarity with the Armenian people.

Among the highlights of Pope Francis’ trip  will be his visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial (Tzitzernakaberd), after which he will meet a dozen descendants of the 400 Armenian orphans who were rescued in 1915 and lodged at the papal Castel Gandolfo residence near Rome.

Media availability:  The ANCA is available to offer the Armenian American perspective on Pope Francis’ visit to Armenia.  To arrange an interview with ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, email ANCA Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian (elizabeth@anca.org) or call (703-585-8254)

Following please find some key points about the Pontif, the Vatican and issues of concern to the Armenian American community.


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