Marking Armenian Genocide Should Remind Christians to Defend the Vulnerable

24 Apr 2015
Armenian Genocide Memorial in Lyon, France. Photo: Leslie Fedorchuk (CC-BY)

Armenian Genocide Memorial in Lyon, France. Photo: Leslie Fedorchuk (CC-BY)

LWF Solidarity in Letter to Orthodox Patriarch Karekim II

(LWI) – Commemorating the Armenian Genocide committed 100 years ago in the context of the First World War should motivate Christians to defend vulnerable communities and work to prevent future atrocities, The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has said.

In a letter to the Armenian Orthodox Supreme Patriarch Karekim II on today’s solemn commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the genocide, LWF General secretary Rev. Martin Junge reiterated LWF commitment to advocacy for those suffering injustice and violence.

“There is no justification for genocide, for persecution or for the killing of civilians. As they uphold these commitments and convictions together, Lutherans and the Armenian Orthodox Church feel very close together,” Junge wrote to Patriarch Karekim II.

He said that what happened to the Armenian people a century ago was made possible by international political factors.

“In the context of World War I, terrible atrocities were committed against vulnerable people, and Armenia particularly suffered from a situation where the big nations did not defend this small country, mainly for geopolitical reasons,” the general secretary said.

One of the lessons learned from upholding the memory of this injustice today, is the need for “unwavering support to speak for people and communities who get trapped into conflicts of large geopolitical dimensions,” Junge said. This includes urging the international community to apply “effective and binding instruments to prevent these unacceptable situations” from happening again, he stressed.

He called for Lutherans and the Armenian Orthodox Church to continue collaborating in the Middle East, and to meet regularly within the Christian World Communions forum, so that they may grow closer together in mutual understanding and concern.

LWF remains thankful for the witness of the Armenian church and people in difficult times, and prays for God’s guidance as they search for peace with justice in the world today, Junge concluded.

LWF Communication