“Throughout the past century, Lebanon has been the fortress of Armenian Diaspora life,” said Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate, in an interview by Aztag Daily with him and Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate of the Western Prelacy, during which they explained how their communities in the United States are responding to Catholicos Aram I’s appeal to help the Lebanese Armenian community as the country goes through an unprecedented financial and economic crisis. “To guarantee the continuity of its mission, it was vital to express our full support to all members of this honorable community.”
The same ideas were echoed by Bishop Torkom, who highlighted “the unique role the Lebanese Armenian community has played in the life of our people, both in Armenia and Artsakh and the different communities of the Diaspora.”
Archbishop Anoushavan explained that after a conversation with His Holiness on August 31, following their arrival to Lebanon, the Prelates intended to familiarize themselves with the situation in the country and learn from Archbishop Shahe Panossian, Prelate of the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon, how the aid provided by the Prelacies of the Eastern and Western United States would be allocated, so Archbishop Anoushavan and Bishop Torkom convey the information and their impressions to their flocks.
Asked by Aztag reporter Nora Parseghian about the response of Armenian-Americans to the appeals to help both the Lebanon community and Armenia following the second Artsakh war, Archbishop Anoushavan said that the explosion at Beirut’s port “not only Armenians, but the entire world was shocked by it.”
Notwithstanding the adversity visited upon the Armenian nation last year, the Prelate said that “our people is ready to help, despite the daily difficulties it faces, which pale in comparison to the crisis endured by Lebanese Armenians.”
Archbishop Anoushavan said the Eastern Prelacy is organizing fundraisers in addition to those being planned by Pastors and Boards of Trustees in the communities under the Prelacy’s jurisdiction. The proceeds will be transferred by way of the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia to the Armenian Prelacy of Lebanon to be distributed among the Lebanese Armenians and cover their needs.
The Prelate pointed out that the Eastern Prelacy communities comprise a smaller proportion of Lebanese Armenians than those in the Western Prelacy jurisdiction. Regardless, he said, the community is ready to lend its hand to the community in Lebanon, which has given so much to the Diaspora.
“Our work is for the long term, always cooperating with Archbishop Shahe, the Lebanon Armenians’ Prelate, to create a new source of spiritual strength in that community and come out of this ‘storm’ together,” Archbishop Anoushavan said.
To see the full interview in Armenian, click here.