Prayers focused on the nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. “Be with all who labour in the universal cause of liberty and justice,” WCC staff and partners prayed. “Increase their wisdom and resolution.”
Dr Ani Ghazaryan Drissi, WCC programme executive for Faith and Order, offered a reflection to honour the lives of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and to recognize the continued violence and hatred against the Armenian community.
She noted that, during the World War l, in 1915, 1.5 million Armenians were deported and massacred in the Ottoman Empire. “While the world was focused on battle in Europe, the Ottoman Empire began a systematic campaign to eliminate the Armenian people within its borders,” she said. “A strong anti-Armenian propaganda took place and Armenians were seen as spies and traitors.”
Armenian leaders and intellectuals were arrested, tortured, and killed. "Armenians’ property was confiscated,” she explained. “Armenian men were arrested and killed in mass shootings outside their towns and villages.”
Many foreign officials spoke out against the atrocities but claims were rejected and denied by the Ottoman administration. “Let us honour Armenian Genocide victims' and survivors' struggle for survival in the past and for the future by standing up for truth today,” Ghazaryan Drissi said. “Let us hold those who would commit genocide to account, even if it takes a lifetime.”