The following is an excerpt from the Armenian news outlet Mirror-Spectator on the annual International Religious Freedom Summit held from January 29 through February 2 and the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. Read the full article HERE.
WASHINGTON — The Eastern and Western Dioceses of the Armenian Church of North America participated in the annual International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit January 29 through February 2, and the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. The collaborative efforts helped raise public awareness about Azerbaijan’s September 2023 invasion and consequent ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Christian Armenian population of Artsakh, and the continued threats against the Republic of Armenia.
To conclude the IRF week in Washington D.C., on February 2 Archbishop Aykazian and Maghakyan moderated a closed discussion on support for the religious freedoms of Artsakh Armenians, with internal and external stakeholder organizations. The Western Diocese discussion was hosted by the Global Peace Foundation. The discussion included ensuring the right of safe return for Artsakh refugees now living in Armenia, and the protection of Christian Armenian holy sites, including churches and cemeteries.
“Our active participation in yet another IRF week in Washington D.C. clearly demonstrated that ongoing coalition building is critical for advancing Armenian rights,” remarked Aykazian. “We are grateful to our many partners — particularly IRF Summit co-chairs Ambassador Sam Brownback and Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, as well as the Global Peace Foundation — that gave us opportunities to spotlight the current and future status of religious freedom protections concerning all threatened communities, particularly the Armenian community, and for expressing solidarity with the forcibly displaced Armenians of Artsakh.”