His Holiness Catholicos Aram I delivered a message on the national identity on Saturday, Aug. 13, on the occasion of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary. Following are excerpts from His Holiness’ message։
On the feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin, we generally reflect on the current problems and developments affecting our people. The title of our message today is “Strengthening our national belonging.” Why this concern and especially the appeal? Let’s examine together the main motivations that give rise to this challenge and then the effective means to remedy them.
We live in a globalized world. Globalization, beyond its economic, political, social, engineering and other developments and expressions, is essentially a culture that, with its value system and values, way of thinking, practice and lifestyle, destroys all kinds of identity and belonging, borders and stereotypes, turning man into a faceless and aimless global reality. Big nations have managed to somehow accommodate globalization. Small nations, if they are not able to resort to effective measures to strengthen their roots, sooner or later, they are doomed to remain in the archives and museums of history.
The waves of globalization have reached the shores of our people’s lives, both in Armenia and in the Diaspora. We are witness and we learn of such anti-national phenomena in all areas of our lives, which violate our spiritual, moral, cultural and national value system, bleed our roots and discolor our identity. Indeed, the Armenian people, who have created a centuries-old history, faced the stormy conditions of life with firm determination, and preserved their existence amid terrible anxiety, refuse to become subject to the absorbing currents of globalization, endangering their belonging, even their existence.
We can fight against the terrible waves of globalization by emphasizing our national belonging —in other words, by crystallizing our identity, strengthening our values, deepening our faith, and in line with the challenges of the present world.
Throughout our history, the following four structures have become the main pillars of our nation: family, church, school, motherland. Today more than ever, these complementary, conditioning and empowering structures form the core of our belonging, the source of our identity, the backbone of our national existence, and the guarantee of our eternity. Nowadays, however, they appear in a worrying condition.
The purpose of the reorganization of the Diaspora is the healthy preservation of the Armenian identity and strengthening of its existence. This goal can be realized by restoring the Armenian family, reorganizing the Armenian school, renovating the Armenian church, improving our structures, active participation of our youth in the Armenian life, and further organizing and expanding Diaspora-Armenia cooperation. Each of these affirmations presupposes deep analysis, broad discussion, and above all collective and planned work, anchored in our faith, driven by determination, and guided by a clear vision.
Do we want to make Armenia flourish and strengthen Artsakh and strengthen our national roots? We must reorganize and empower the Diaspora today —tomorrow may be too late. If we want to reorganize the Diaspora, every Armenian, family, structure and community should become a participant in this collective effort. Here is the challenge in front of us.