Bishop Daniel issued the following message on Sunday morning, urging Armenians to unite in prayers for the protection of Artsakh.
A Message from Bishop Daniel
Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
My Dear People:
We expected to spend this morning in a spirit of joy, among our people, celebrating the unique Armenian Church feast day of the Holy Cross of Varak. Instead, we all have awakened to the terrible news of a vicious attack on Artsakh, including a shelling bombardment of its capital, Stepanakert.
In the wake of this act of inhumanity—coming at a time of desperation in the region and in the entire world—our Catholicos, His Holiness Karekin II, cancelled the remainder of his much-anticipated pontifical visit to Italy, to return to our homeland to be among our people in this urgent moment. Before doing so, he issued a brief, solemn message of prayer for the protection of our homeland, appealing for solidarity among all our faithful people:
“Our homeland, Artsakh, calls on all of us to defend the rights of our nation, our sacred land, our future and our national dignity. We call on our people to unite, and all political factions to subordinate their parochial concerns to the common necessity of defending our homeland. May God protect the land of Artsakh and support our brave soldiers and commanders.”
On this tense Sunday morning, we stand with our Vehapar in his spirit of resolve, and join our voices to his heartfelt prayer.
To our clergy and faithful throughout the Eastern Diocese, I ask that in our churches this morning, throughout the day, and in the critical days to come, we pray to our Lord to place his protection over Armenia and Artsakh.
We pray for the security and well-being of our people there, and for the safety of the brave soldiers who daily risk their lives defending our borders.
We offer our prayers in solidarity with fellow Armenian Christians and people of good will across the globe, in our aspiration for peace and justice throughout the historic homeland of the Armenian people.
Today’s Feast of the Holy Cross of Varak, with its mysterious story of the discovery of a relic of Christ’s True Cross on the soil of Armenia, reminds us that our crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ has sanctified our homeland, and made it a refuge for his faithful. This feast day assures us that God keeps watch over our people, and holds our well-being tenderly, lovingly, in His hands.
Lord, please continue to keep watch over the holy soil of Arstakh and Armenia, now and always. Grant your faithful people strength and determination to meet this most recent threat. Lead us through this time of trial to days of peace and justice. Amen.
With my prayers,
September 27, 2020