Featured, Prelacy News


On Sunday, September 3, His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate, offered the opening prayer and spoke at the 89th Olympic Games of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) in Washington, D.C. The representative of the Republic of Artsakh, Robert Avetisyan, was among the guests at the event. Read the Prelate’s message in full below:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for bringing your children from east and west, from north and south, in order to exercise their God-given talents and share their spirit of freedom and refresh the vitality of our nation to lead us into a new future.   

Dear representative of the Republic of Artsakh, AYF-ers, parents, and friends,  

We are gathered here to celebrate our oneness, our common vision as Armenians living on this planet. While you are greeting each other in freedom with joy, showered by bounties, not far from Capitol Hill, the sanctuary of democracy, justice, and freedom, our brothers and sisters in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) celebrated the 32th anniversary of their independence yesterday under the brutal siege ordered by the terrorist dictator of Azerbaijan, who, in his own words, has called Artsakhtsis “dogs and rats” to be wiped off the face of the earth. Meanwhile, he has fooled Western powers into believing that Artsakhtsis enjoy all the rights and privileges of the citizens of Azerbaijan.  

Under different circumstances, in the last century Musa Dagh was under siege for forty days. They resisted courageously. Today, our brothers and sisters have been under siege not for forty days, but for seven times that length of time, being cut off from the world and from the essentials of life. But the most important thing is that they are not cut off from their ancestors’ spirit. They are rooted in the spirit of Artsakh, which nobody can uproot, neither men nor angels nor any power in this world. It is their God-given right to defend the country where they have planted, they have harvested, and where their sacred blood has been mixed with the soil of blessed Artsakh.  

A couple of days ago we, the spiritual leaders of the Armenian Church, the Western and Eastern Prelacies, the Dioceses, the Armenian Catholic Church, the Armenian Protestant Church, the Armenian Missionary Association of America, sent an appeal to the President and to the Secretary of State, urging them to look very seriously into the tragic events that have been unfolding for the last eight months. We believe that next week, when the hearing on Artsakh will take place, our President, who boldly acknowledged the Armenian Genocide, will go beyond lip service and praise and will put into action the principles of this free land, the home of the brave. That’s how America will remain the champion of the values that constitute the foundation of this blessed country.   

Until then, dear AYF-ers, I would like to say that we are with you. You are our hope and pride, and as His Holiness Catholicos Aram I says, you are not only our future, but our present and future achievements. We are sure that our present hardships will forge our resistance to help pass on the torch of freedom to our next generation. 

Dear brothers and sisters, I pray for you, and I wish that you and us collectively, in our personal life, our work, with our families and communities, as a nation as a whole, will continue moving forward with faith, hope, and love, like the “immortals of the martyr race, strengthening our cooperation, our religious, social, political, charity, and cultural work. Let us all who have lived far from the homeland, but with the homeland in our hearts, transmit that same Armenian spirit to the next generation. May God bless our nation as we, with a belief in resurrection, walk the way of the Cross towards a bright future.