FSPC and Armenian Church will hold joint Armenian Genocide centennial commemoration

FSPC President visits Catholicos Aram I. in Beirut – Head of Armenian Apostolic Church in the Middle East thanks Switzerland for one hundred years of solidarity.

During a reception in Beirut (Lebanon) last Sunday, Aram I., one of the two highest dignitaries of the global Armenian Apostolic Church, thanked the Swiss churches and the Swiss people for their selfless and generous support during the Armenian Genocide nearly one hundred years ago. In the presence of Swiss Ambassador Ruth Flint and FSPC President Gottfried Locher, Catholicos underlined the friendship between the Protestant church in Switzerland and the Christians of Armenia. To this day, the Swiss-Armenian foundation Armenofas provides important support for Armenians in need, the church leader explained.

Gottfried Locher affirmed the good relations between the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches and the churches of the Middle East, as well as the necessity of making these relations even deeper and stronger. Locher stressed the importance of ensuring that the crimes of the past will not be forgotten: “The injustice cried out to high heaven, but the willingness to help in our country was remarkable as well.”

For 2015, Locher and Aram I. agreed on hosting a joint centennial commemoration in Switzerland. From 1915 to 1918, between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians, as well as other ethnic groups such as Assyrians, fell victim to systematic annihilation. During this time numerous Swiss men and women showed their solidarity, helping orphans and taking in refugees. A community of roughly 6000 Armenians continues to live in Switzerland to this day.

In recognition of Swiss solidarity with the Armenian Church, Aram I. conferred the Armenian decoration of “Knight of Cilicia” to the FSPC President as a representative of the Swiss people.

The Swiss delegation also had the opportunity to talk to representatives of Protestant churches in the region. At the center of discussions was the shared concern about the discrimination of Christians in the Middle East.