His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, marked the 32nd year since the anti-Armenian pogroms in Sumgait on February 28. With Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, His Holiness laid a wreath to honor the victims of Azeri violence, in a ceremony at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial attended by state officials and members of the Holy Etchmiadzin monastic brotherhood.
Following the wreath ceremony, Catholicos Karekin II led fellow church leaders in prayers for the Sumgait victims before a khatchkar memorial at the Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.
Click here to watch a brief video of the solemn occasion.
It was in late February of 1988 that Armenians in the town of Sumgait, Azerbaijan, were targeted for violence, murder, and expulsion by mobs of Azerbaijanis acting with the complicity of the government and police. The pogroms were unleashed in retaliation for the Karabagh independence movement, then in its earliest stages. Other anti-Armenian atrocities would follow in subsequent months. As a result, nearly the entire Armenian population was forced to flee Azerbaijan in a period of a few years.
This Sunday, offer a prayer of remembrance for the Armenian souls lost, and a prayer of gratitude for those God saved, 32 years ago.