30 Years After Baku and Sumgait

A Message from Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate

With deep feelings of solidarity, I convey my prayerful thoughts to our people on the solemn 30th anniversary of the Sumgait and Baku massacres.

It is hard to believe that on February 27, 2018, three decades will have passed since those frightening days, when the peace-loving Armenians of Azerbaijan found them­selves terrorized by mob violence, and victimized by an immoral political system. Armenians were murdered in cold blood, and countless others—men, women, and children—were exiled from their homes.

In the ensuing years, I feel strongly that the Armenians who endured this outrage have, as a community and as individuals, shown themselves to be people of the highest caliber. They used their native intelligence and ethic of hard, honest work to build new lives for their families. It has not been easy. But 30 years after the events that disrupted their lives, our brothers and sisters from Baku, Sumgait, Kirovabad, and elsewhere can look back with pride on their accomplishments.

And they should know that their brothers and sisters, in Armenian Churches across the world, share this sense of pride.

To the Armenians who emerged from this affliction, and to their children, I want to say that you are very dear to the Armenian Church of America. Your roots lie in a proud past; your future—our future—is very bright indeed. May our Lord guide and inspire you as you labor in his vineyard. And may he always extend his blessing and protection over all the people of our community.

With prayers,

Archbishop Khajag Barsamian

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