World Council of Churches


July 10, 1983

"The silence of the world community and the deliberate efforts to deny even historical facts have been consistent sources of anguish..."


Official Report VI Assembly World Council of Churches

Vancouver, Canada 24 July - 10 August 1983

5.11 Minutes on Public Issues of Continuing Concern to the WCC

Minutes on the Armenian genocide

  1. During this assembly's discussion of violations of human rights our attention has been drawn to the historical reality and present threat of genocide to some peoples. Far too often these occurrences are passed over in silence. In certain current instances this is being used by groups to justify wholly unacceptable acts of violence.


  2. In this context we have been reminded once again of the tragic massacre of one-and-a-half million Armenians in Turkey and the deportation of another half million from this historic homeland at the beginning of this century. The silence of the world community and the deliberate efforts to deny even historical facts have been consistent sources of anguish and growing despair to the Armenian people, the Armenian churches and many others.


  3. The Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches has raised this concern in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights with reference to the latter's study of the Question of Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.


  4. The Assembly requests the General Secretary to provide information to the churches on this, and to continue to pursue the matter in appropriate contexts. Public recognition of those events is essential in order that they do not continue to engender violent acts of retribution, and that through remembering the history of the Armenian people other peoples might be spared a similar fate.


(David Gill, ed.,Gathered for Life: Official Report VI Assembly World Council of Churches, Vancouver, Canada, 24 July - 10 August 1983. Geneva: World Council of Churches and Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1983, pp. 165-6)