June 2, 2021
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Lauds President Biden’s Historic Announcement on Armenian Genocide Day
On this Armenian Remembrance Day (Meds Yeghern), CMEP lauds President Biden’s historic statement about the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide. President Biden said, “We honor the victims of the Meds Yeghern so that the horrors of what happened are never lost to history. And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.”
CMEP supports President Biden’s declaration of historic truth and justice. CMEP appreciates the commitment to universal human rights and the promise to end genocide around the world regardless of the potential for negative geopolitical consequences with United States allies.
In order to prevent future actions of violence, it is imperative that we acknowledge historic wrongs such as the genocide of the Armenian people where approximately 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed in massacres and displacement campaigns carried out by the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1915. This historic tragedy has had a lasting impact on the Armenian people, including those living in Armenia and the diaspora scattered around the world.
We also need to remember the Ottoman Empire’s systematic killings of Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Greeks, and other Christians who were also targeted. The sustainability of the Christian community in the Middle East remains one of CMEP’s top priorities. CMEP is grateful for its longstanding relationship with the Armenian Orthodox Church and the Christian community in Armenia.
His Eminence Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, CMEP Board representative for the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) says of this historic announcement: “Finally after so many years of waiting for these atrocities to be acknowledged, twelve million Armenian people today will have peace in their souls and finally, the more than 1.5 million killed will be able to rest in peace in their tombs at the recognition of all that has been lost. We pray President Biden’s historic announcement will lead to the preventions of future genocides throughout the world.”
CMEP’s executive director, Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon affirms President Biden’s declaration: “Hatred always has corrosive effects. May descendents of the Armenian Genocide experience comfort from this historic acknowledgement. May President Biden’s courageous statement embolden us all to take strong actions in advocating for peace, justice, and an end to violence in the Middle East and around the world.”
Formed in 1984, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition of 30 national church communions and organizations, including Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions that works to encourage US policies that actively promote a comprehensive resolution to conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. CMEP works to mobilize US Christians to embrace a holistic perspective and to be advocates of equality, human rights, security, and justice for Israelis, Palestinians, and all people of the Middle East.