Voices from Russia

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Armenian and Syriac Orthodox Patriarchs Ask Christians to Remember the 1915 Genocide as Centennial Nears

armenian genocide memorial


On Wednesday, the First Hierarchs of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church urged all Christians to remember and reflect on the genocide of Armenians and Syriac Christians in Turkey in 1915, where up to 2 million people died or disappeared without a trace. A joint statement by Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin Nersessian and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem Karim said, “We invite the entire Christian world to unite in prayer at the Armenian Genocide and the Syriac Sayfo centennial commemorative events in 2015. We call upon the civilised world to recognise and condemn the crimes committed against the Armenian and Syriac peoples as well as other Christian communities”. Since Armenians made up nearly 1.5 million of the victims, many call the 1915 massacre during World War I in Ottoman Turkey the Armenian Genocide. The attacks on Christians eliminated almost the entire Christian population in present day Turkey, leaving almost an entirely Muslim nation {not so… the expulsion of the Greek Orthodox population from Ionia in the 20s did so: editor}.

As the centennial commemoration approaches, the Armenian and Syriac leaders want the international community to recognise and condemn the atrocities committed at the time. Earlier this week, the two patriarchs met at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the spiritual centre of all Armenians, to sign a declaration affirming the shared faith of the two sister churches. In September, Assyrian International News Agency reported that a documentary film is in preparation on the 1915 genocide, scheduled to première in 2015 as part of the commemoration. Produced by the Assyrian Federation of Sweden and the Assyrian Youth Federation of Sweden, the documentary explains the circumstances and details behind the genocide to a wider audience. Directed by Aziz Said from Berlin, the film crew spent close to three weeks in southeast Turkey shooting footage for the film. The documentary also seeks to expose the denial of the genocide as maintained by the Turkish state, and highlight the effect the massacre still has on Assyrians today. The Genocide1915 website provides a comprehensive history of the conflict. It notes that 24 April is the commemoration day of the genocide as the genocide began that night in 1915, when the Turks rounded up and executed close to 250 Armenians within 72 hours, including doctors, lawyers, and politicians.

15 October 2014

Christian Post



Thursday, 26 September 2013

26 September 2013. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… The Orthosphere Lives! Patriarch Kirill and Catholicos Karekin Embrace in Moscow

00 patriarch kirill. catholicos karekin. Armenian church in Moscow 01. 26.09.13


00 patriarch kirill. catholicos karekin. Armenian church in Moscow 02. 26.09.13


00 patriarch kirill. catholicos karekin. Armenian church in Moscow 03. 26.09.13


On 17 September, a new Armenian Apostolic church was dedicated in Moscow. HH showed up to share the festivities, and he embraced his old friend Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin Nersessian, the head of the Armenian Church. There may not be communion between us, but Russia and Armenia are part of the Orthosphere; we ARE part of a seamless sociological whole (that’s completely separate from the issue of intercommunion). Let’s raise a glass and cheer our friendship… long may it last!


Friday, 19 October 2012

Patriarch Torkom Manoogian of Jerusalem Passes Away


According to the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the St James Brotherhood, Patriarch Torkom Manoogian, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, passed away on the morning of 12 October. Patriarch Manoogian was born in 1919 in Baquba in the Mesopotamian desert to genocide survivors from Van. In 1931, he enrolled in the Armenian Theological Seminary of Jerusalem and was ordained a celibate priest in 1939. He held many posts, including dean of the Armenian Theological Seminary, and was for many years the choir master of the St James Cathedral and the parish priest in Haifa. In 1946, he left for New York for theological studies and founded the Armenian Society of Choirs. The patriarch was an accomplished writer and musician, and had dozens of studies and publications. He served as ruling bishop of the Armenian Church in America’s Eastern Diocese in New York. In 1990, he became the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem; he served in this capacity until his passing. The Armenian Patriarchate’s jurisdiction extends over Armenian communities in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. It is one of the three custodians of the Holy Sites in the Holy Land.

On 15 October, Nagorno-Karabakh President Bako Sahakyan sent his condolences to Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin Nersessian of all Armenians. Sahakyan wrote, “Patriarch Manoogian contributed greatly to fortifying the Armenian Apostolic Church, strengthening the Christian faith, as well as developing interchurch relations. He also made valuable contributions in preserving the Armenian national identity, maintaining the motherland-diaspora ties, promoting international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and the fair representation of the Artsakh issue”.

 18 October 2012

Armenian Weekly


Editor’s Note:

Patriarch Torkom was a very familiar and much-loved figure in the New York City Orthosphere. Everyone knew who he was, and everyone respected him. He was the Armenian bishop in the City from 1966 to 1990… he was a FIXTURE, kids. He built St Vartan’s over on 34th and Second on the East Side and he was EVERYWHERE. Do note that oca.org didn’t mark his passing. He was a great friend of the Metropolia/OCA, and he was an honoured guest at the Chancery many times. Jillions could write fluff about this Pihach character, but he couldn’t see to it that the OCA published public condolences for Patriarch Torkom’s passing. They couldn’t even post, “He was a great friend of our Church… we mourn his passing”.

I waited to post on this, hoping that oca.org would “do the right thing”. They didn’t. I’ll say to all Armenians, “All the ordinary Russian people and clergy remember Patriarch Torkom, and we share your grief. Patriarch Torkom had a big heart, a generous soul, and an expansive mind. We’ll all miss him. We bow to you in your time of sadness”… this is what issuing timely “letters of friendship” is all about. God be with you…


Sunday, 16 September 2012

16 September 2012. The Orthosphere is ONE… Your Joys are Our Joys… Your Griefs are Our Griefs… Forever

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev (1946- ) and Catholicos Karekin Nersessian (1951- ) meeting as brothers… as they well should.



The church in the image above is Tantev Monastery in Armenia… it dates from the 9th century. The scholars of the monastery kept the flame of Armenian culture alive during the dark days of the 14th and 15th centuries. Patriarch Kirill and Catholicos Karekin are friends… that should tell us something. We should do likewise… after all, the Orthosphere IS one.

By the way, there are pseudo-intellectuals who are trying to hijack the term “Orthosphere”. The Orthosphere is the Orthodox civilisational bloc as defined by Sergei Solovyov. It’s nothing else. You can’t have heretics as part of the Orthosphere; these overeducated jackasses are trying to include them as part of our “world”. Fancy that… it’s clear proof that there’s no one as dense and ignorant as a PhD is! The Orthosphere is the actual physical territory where Orthodoxy has been the impetus behind the civilisation. It’s the actual cultural construct where the Church, not Western heresy, has been the moulder of the ethos and spirit. Ergo, no papist or Proddie can be part of it (although they may live in it, as in Russia or Romania). In short, don’t accept substitutes… embrace the REAL Orthosphere, the world of Orthodox Christianity, and reject the BOGUS Orthosphere which is full of Branch Theory and “ecumaniacal” (not a misspelling) nonsense.

As per usual, noisome popinjay academics are trying to impose a paper n’ ink notional golem in the place of an actual flesh n’ blood reality. The REAL Orthosphere is founded on the blood of the martyrs… the BOGUS Orthosphere is nothing but the windy bloviations of professors. The two can’t coexist. If one’s correct, the other’s false… that’s all that there’s to say on the matter. I know which one I prefer…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 16 September 2012

Albany NY

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