Monday, 29 February 2016

Armenian News... A Topalian... 'Decades of Displacement' - Concert for people in Gyumri

In Armenia, Decades of Displacement 
Al Jazeera discussion on repercussions of the 

1988 Armenian Earthquake:
Tigran Hamasyan: This place, the environment made me 
perform this concert to help the people in Gyumri

Renowned Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan took away daily worries 
of the people of Gyumri and delivered an aesthetic delight through his
marvelous performance.

`I performed old and new works. First, I thought to play only new
works, which would symbolize the mission of the project  - to buy new
houses for the families living in the temporary shelters. However,
this place, the environment made me perform this program,' Hamasyan
told the reports, following the charity concert for the homeless
families in Gyumri.

It is noted, that more than 3000 families still live in temporary
shelters in Gyumri 27 years after the devastating earthquake.  An
international fundraiser has been launched to collect 190 thousand
USD. If the missions fulfills till March 15, 13 families will have new

Earlier, Gyumri Mayor awarded Hamasyan of Gold Medal for his
outstanding contribution to the development of jazz and national
spiritual music, humanitarian and charity activities. 

This year marks the 350th anniversary of the first printed Armenian
Bible. It was published in 1666 in Amsterdam with the efforts of
Archbishop Voskan Yerevantsi. Printing began on March 11, 1666 and
was completed on October 13, 1668, according to website.

The Bible by Voskan Yerevantsi consists of 1462 pages presented in two
columns (2924 columns) and 159 images. It was published in 5000 copies.

The basis for the Bible by Voskan Yerevantsi was the one copied
in 1295 by the order of Hethum II, King of the Armenian Kingdom of
Cilicia. Yerevantsi edited this copy according to Vulgate, the Latin
translation of the Bible. During printing he translated and added
several books of the Old Testament missing from the Armenian Canon.

Voskan Yerevantsi asked famous artist-bookbinder Albert Magnus for
a splendid example of the Bible, which he then gave to Louis XVI
of France. 

Journal of Turkish Weekly
Feb 25 2016

300-year-old Armenian church has been put up for sale in Turkey for
$1.5 million.

An advert on the property website "" shows the
ramshackle, three-story building in the heart of Bursa, northwest
Turkey, is located near the tombs of the fifth Ottoman sultan, Mehmed
I, and the 14th century tomb of Bayezid I's adviser and son-in-law.

Estate agent Tayfun Ozengirler said the building in the Setbasi
neighborhood was registered in as a historical monument in 1986.

"The area where the church is situated was once inhabited by
Armenians," Ozengirler said. "You can smell the history on every

Bursa, the capital of the Ottoman Empire before the capture of
Constantinople in 1453, was a center of Armenian culture and the
Armenian Patriarchate was based in Setbasi before moving to Istanbul.

Ozengirler said he had received a number of queries about the advert.

"No one has agreed the demanded price so far but we will do our best
for the sellers," he told Anadolu Agency. 

Report Russia Defends Fresh Arms Deal With Armenia

Russia dismissed on Thursday Azerbaijani protests against its decision
to sell $200 million worth of more Russian-manufactured weapons to

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it has sent a
protest note to Moscow in connection with the arms deal that will be
financed with a $200 million Russian loan allocated to Yerevan last

"We have already made it clear to the Azerbaijani side through
diplomatic channels that Russia is bound by an alliance with Armenia
and is developing with it military-technical cooperation among other
things," said Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry

"This is a well-known fact, and we are managing that cooperation
without hiding it, in a transparent and open manner. We hope that
Azerbaijan will show understanding for this fact," Zakharova told a
news briefing in Moscow.

"We carry out any supplies of weapons to Armenia as well as friendly
Azerbaijan with a meticulous consideration of the need to maintain the
balance of forces in the region," she added, according to the TASS
news agency.

Zakharova appeared to allude to the fact that Russia has sold more
than $4 billion worth of mostly offensive weapons to Azerbaijan in the
last several years. Those arms deliveries prompted criticism from
Armenia's government, political parties and media. Some of them have
accused Moscow of thereby undercutting Armenia, Russia's main regional
ally, in the dispute with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The latest Russian-Armenian arms deal has been construed by some
analysts as a Russian attempt to placate the Armenians.

The Russian government disclosed late last week a long list of items
which the Armenian military will be able to acquire with the Russian
loan by the end of 2017. They include devastating multiple-launch
rocket systems, flamethrower systems, anti-tank rockets and
communication equipment. 

The New Zealand Herald
February 24, 2016 Wednesday

According to a new poll, the sexiest men in the world are Irish.

The research, carried out by travel dating site Miss Travel surveyed
over 66,000 American women about their taste in foreign men.

The results showed that nearly 8000 women chose Irish men as the
hottest in the world, closely followed by Australians, with Pakistani
men in third place.

Women surveyed said accents were a strong factor in who they considered

Popular Irish actors like Colin Farrell, Michael Fassbender, Jamie
Dornan, Aidan Turner and Jonathan Rhys Meyers may have also contributed
to the trend.

The results came just weeks after exclusive dating website Beautiful
People said that fewer then one in 10 Irish men had their profiles
accepted on the site.

Kiwi men did not make the list, but it"s the second year running that
Irish men have come out on top.

The survey also asked 44,873 men about their taste in women, with
Armenians topping the list - most likely due to the influence of
Armenian-American Kim Kardashian.

Unlike their male counterparts, Irish women did not feature on
the list.

Top ten sexiest nationalities for men

1. Irish

2. Australian

3. Pakistani

4. American

5. English

6. Scottish

7. Italian

8. Nigerian

9. Danish

10. Spanish

Top ten sexiest nationalities for women

1. Armenian

2. Barbadian/Bajan

3. American

4. Colombian

5. English

6. Australian

7. Brazillian

8. Filipino

9. Bulgarian

10. Lebanese 

Armenia: Parliament Debates Man-to-Man Kisses
By Giorgi Lomsadze
February 26, 2016

Armenia's busy parliament took a moment this week to address the
"problem" of men kissing men--according to one MP, a concern for both
the country and its national assembly. Neighboring Georgia was blamed
for bringing the smooching whammy upon Armenia.

On the morning of February 23, the world was closing in on 59-year-old
Aram Manukian of the opposition Armenian National Congress. To the
left, right and center, male deputies filled Armenia's parliamentary
hall, exchanging handshakes and kisses -- a popular form of

Just to be clear, the Caucasus-style greeting between men involves a
peck on the cheek; thankfully, not a Leonid Brezhnev-style,
mouth-to-mouth embrace. Displays of affection between men, such as
kissed greetings and walking with arms locked, is customary in this
otherwise macho neck of the woods, and accounts for more than one
awkward moment with Western visitors.

But this time around, Armenian lawmakers apparently got a little
carried away, prompting a request from Deputy Speaker Eduard
Sharmazanov to be done with giving love and move on to the pressing
matters of the day, such as getting a show of hands for candidates for
a new ombudsman.

Manukian took the floor. He used the high tribune to call upon Armenia
to stop the man-to-man kisses.

"Do not do this! This is not a pretty sight! Children are watching!"
he pled with his colleagues. Armenian men kiss everywhere these days,
he pointed out -- in parliament, the institutions of higher education,
you name it.

"I forbade guys in our party to kiss every day," he said, without
specifying what rate of kissing was now sanctioned within the Armenian
National Congress.

Perhaps thinking that Manukian was a little too hard on his
colleagues, Deputy Speaker Sharmazanov interceded with a joke that
kissing is fine so long as it is not the "kiss of Judas." Another
representative of the ruling Republican Party, 38-year-old Hovhannes
Sahakian, chimed in to say that he, for one, trusts the men he kisses.

But Manukian was not placated. In a rare display of willingness to
cede cultural primacy in the region to neighboring Georgia, he said
that it was the Georgians who taught Armenian men to kiss.

"Men kiss there all the time," Manukian informed the assembly.

Georgians, as this native Georgian blogger can confirm, do kiss
indiscriminately, but the body of scientific research is scarce as to
when and where the custom originated.

Armenia's parliamentarians did not examine the topic further. They
managed to move past their debate on philematology, and finally
elected as ombudsman Deputy Justice Minister Arman Tatoian.

Chances are, no man congratulated him with a kiss. 
German Bundestag again discussed and postponed the resolution
condemning the Armenian Genocide
February 26 2016

Still last year, the resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide in
the German Bundestag was debated today, and once again its adoption
was postponed. Last year in May, the adoption of the resolution was
postponed indefinitely. Our German-based compatriot in charge of the
website on the 100th anniversary of the genocide in Germany, a member
of the Genocide Recognition Committee, Varujan Babakhan, referring to
today's debate in the Bundestag which incidentally was also attended
by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, wrote on his Facebook page,
`Shortly before, the debate on the resolution of the Armenia genocide
recognition submitted by Bundestag Greens in German ended.
Christian-Democrat, Social-Democrat and Christian Union parties did
not agree with the term, stating that it would prevent the European
Union-Turkey summit next week.

All parties have unanimously recognized the Armenian Genocide, no one
denied or doubted, they did not agree only with the terms, they wanted
to reach an agreement with Turkey on the issue of refugees at that
time. Christian-Democrats proposed not to put the resolution to the
vote and reach a common agreement by April 24, 2016 (a bit before or
after) and then debate the common resolution in a more favorable
condition. The resolution was not put to a vote, in other words, it
was not rejected and was postponed for some time. The common
resolution includes: A) A clear recognition of the Genocide and
condemnation by Germany. B) The role of Germany in the genocide, the
adoption. C) Do everything for the opening of Turkey-Armenia border.
Social-Democrats proposed to digitalize archives in Germany pertaining
to the genocide and include them on the Internet with the translation
into different languages: English, Turkish and Armenian.'

After this reasoning, Mr. Babakhan is presenting his personal opinion,
`My personal opinion is this: I consider today's discussion positive,
even though fruitless but the more we have such discussions at the
governmental level, the more ground is prepared for the future
protection of Armenia's interests.'

To the question of `Aravot' whether the resolution submitted by the
Greens party is the same resolution that was submitted in the
Bundestag last year and was postponed, Mr. Babakhan replied, `Yes, it
was the discussion of the resolution, rather say, three parties had
submitted three resolutions, now the Greens party had presented their
resolution for consideration. Now, let us see how the circumstances
would work for the common resolution.'

To my request to further detail the resolutions of the three parties,
Mr. Babakhan explained, `Last year, the three parties submitted their
resolutions. The Greens were clearly talking about the Genocide and
condemnation. So was with the Lefts but they were more focused on the
role of the Germany and condemnation. Christian-Democrats had
formulated the moment of Genocide more vaguely. This was a
disagreement among these three and the issue moved to discussions
which lasted until today. Last week, the Greens leader Cem Ã-zdemir
said, it is enough, we will put our resolution for discussion. During
today's debate, the Christian-Democrats said, `we are openly and
sincerely reaching out our hand to talk about this issue with each
other and agree on it and on the most favorable terms, bring it to the
discussion at the Bundestag so that our interests are not hurt too.'

Ã-zdemir went to talk with Christian-Democrats Secretary General Volker
Kauder, they agreed and this it was postponed'. Our next question of
whether it is possible that the presence of Chancellor Merkel somehow
affected the non-adoption of the resolution in the Bundestag, more
precisely, the postponing, Mr. Babakhan laughed, `Absolutely not. She
joined us in the middle, put her bag aside, called her chief
secretary, went and sat down in a corner and began to talk ¦ about
what, God knows.' Mr. Babakhan also said that after the discussion,
Chairman of the Armenian Genocide Recognition Committee, Tessa
Hoffman, met and talked with the Chairman of the Greens and Cem
Ã-zdemir who presented the resolution.


Deutsche Welle, Germany
Feb 26 2016

The timing is provocative: Just two weeks before the EU-Turkey
summit, the Green Party is putting before parliament a resolution
which describes the massacre of the Armenian people 100 years ago
as genocide.

For the governing coalition, the timing of the Greens' resolution
couldn't be worse. Because of the refugee crisis, the government is
trying to avoid being too hard on Turkey and referring to the mass
murder of Armenians a century ago as "genocide."

The government is under pressure to noticeably reduce the number of
refugees coming to Germany. In Chancellor Angela Merkel's strategy,
Turkey has a special role as the most significant transit country
for migrants.

On March 7, important negotiations with Ankara at the EU-Turkey
summit are set to take place. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
is considered to be an irritable negotiating partner and Germany does
not want to get his back up.

According to Armenian accounts, some 1.5 million members of the
Armenian minority community were killed between April 1915 and 1917 at
the hands of their Ottoman rulers in what is present-day Turkey. For
its part, Turkey maintains that between 300,000 and 500,000 Armenians
were killed, and that just as many Turks died during the same period.

Ankara speaks of an atmosphere of civil war and famine. To this day,
the Turkish government reacts with hostility whenever the term genocide
is used to describe the killings.

Everyone on the same page

The governing coalition takes the same view on the issue as the
Greens. At a parliamentary debate in April 2015, parliamentarians were
unanimous in their opinion that the massacre of the Armenian people a
century ago was genocide. German President Joachim Gauck and Bundestag
President Norbert Lammert both used the term to describe the killings.

But what was missing was the passing of a parliamentary resolution
that included the term "genocide." In October, the CDU/CSU, SPD, and
the Green Party finally agreed on its adoption. But the resolution
was brought before parliament as being solely from the Greens. The
draft text says that the fate of the murdered Armenians "stands as
an example of the mass extermination, ethnic cleansing, expulsion,
and even genocide that has so terribly marked the history of the 20th
century." The text also refers to the "uniqueness of the Holocaust"
as well as the "inglorious role of the German Reich" in the massacre
of the Armenian people.

Criticism from the Greens

Green Party leader Cem Ozdemir has accused the governing coalition
of deferring too much to Turkey and pulling back from the common

Green chairman Cem Ozdemir says the German government is avoiding
the issue

"The resolution consciously stops short of asking the federal
government to recognize the genocide in order not to make a big deal
of this now," Ozdemir told DW. "You could have easily said, well it's
the parliament, it's not the government."

CDU member of parliament Christoph Bergner clearly stated his
opinion during the debate in April. "I really doubt that we can
present ourselves in a convincing way and take a clear position
in this discussion if we shy away from using the term 'genocide',"
Bergner said. Despite this, he's against the Greens' resolution. "Our
objections refer to the process, not the content," Bergner told DW.

"When you're in negotiations with a partner, you try not to burden
those negotiations," he said with regard to Turkey. He accuses the
Greens of using the genocide issue for a partisan maneuver.

'There is never going to be a right time'

The right resolution at the wrong time? Ozdemir rejects that idea.

"There's never going to be a right time for this issue. It's been
the wrong time for a hundred years now. It's just an excuse."

Even though it's likely that the resolution from the Greens will fail,
Bergner says that doesn't mean the discussion about the Armenian
genocide is over. "I hope that we'll find a better time during this
coalition to agree on a formula, 

The English version of the book "Armenophobia in Azerbaijan"
was published. The main aim is to inform wider circles about the
Armenophobic phenomena going on in Azerbaijan. PhD in Political
Sciences Anzhela Elibegova, the co-author of the book, who specialises
in geopolitics of the South Caucasus, told the journalists that the
Russian-language version of the book had been published in 2013. The
response to the book was quite interesting, Elibegova said. The book
has not been criticised at all, as the Azerbaijanis have confessed
themselves that they have not read it.

The book is based on a study of Azerbaijani children's and educational
literature, fiction, and the statements made by officials.

"We have compiled the book by studying the statements made on the
official level, the Azerbaijani media, the websites, and the displays
of Armenophobia spreading inside the society. We have collected
this all and analysed. We are still continuing to collect data,"
Elibegova said.

Armine Adibekyan, the co-author of the book, who heads Xenophobia
Prevention Initiative NGO, informed about the website of the book,
where the users can access Azerbaijani officials' statements left
out of the book. "Had we included everything, it would become an
over-20-volume research," she said.

"Armenophobia in Azerbaijan" was published with the support of the
Information and Public Relations Centre of the Administration of the
President of the Republic of Armenia. Copies of the book have been
handed to the Foreign and Diaspora Ministries, which will forward it
to various international entities in their turn.

The new and refreshed version of the website , as well as
the English version of the website were also presented
to the journalists.

Adibekyan said the falsified materials, which the Azerbaijani
propaganda machine uses to spread misleading information, are available
on "The lists presented contradict each other.

The interviews and statements made in 1992 claim one thing, while those
made today another. The events are presented in a totally altered way,
we can observe serious differences," she pointed out.

According to Samvel Martirosyan, specialist of information security,
the English version of has been significantly enriched
and more proofs about forgeries have been added.

"The propaganda machine of Azerbaijan has developed the topic of
Khojaly alone for long years, as Armenia did not address it on the
state level. Actually, Azerbaijan has long had a chance to introduce
its own version without any counteraction, issuing an enormous number
of falsifications," Martirosyan highlighted.

The English version of presents Armenophobic examples
of children's educational literature and methodology, where the
Armenians are introduced as monsters, Adibekyan said.

"The website had only Russian version at the beginning because we
were translating the materials from Azerbaijani. Today, it is also
available in English enabling more people to realise who we deal with."

PhD in Psychological sciences Izabella Ghazaryan said a three-year-old
child is taught that the Armenians are evil spirits. Growing up in
this atmosphere, they perceive an Armenian as an evil spirit rather
than a human being.

"They get to know the world in a distorted way. The perception of the
world is formed before a child reaches the age of 12. The Azerbaijani
children perceive a world where the Armenian is an evil spirit,"
the psychologist noted.

Karen Vrtanesyan, a military expert, said the recent decades have
seen establishment of a situation, where the Armenians are considered
guilty of everything bad in Azerbaijan as a result of the propaganda
carried out by Azerbaijan's government.

"The propaganda has reached to a point where we can say even the Jews
in Nazi Germany did not face such xenophobic propaganda as it is in
Azerbaijan now," he stressed.

When asked whether the initiatives of the kind will be ongoing, Armine
Adibekyan said, "Azerbaijan does not give us the chance to stop. They
always provide us with materials which need to be analysed. We will
not remain jobless as long as Azerbaijan is standing on this ground."

She also added that new projects are being worked on. They have
particularly compiled a rich informational database about Azerbaijan's
caviar diplomacy.

According to her, international entities are well aware of what kind of
generation is growing up in Azerbaijan, as well as of the Armenophobic
phenomena displayed there. She said it is because of the politics that
nothing is done about that. "I do not expect any significant change,"
Adibekyan said.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland Volume 2, Issue 7 27 February 2016 Armenian Church News

Bishop Nalbandian Preaches at St. Sarkis Church
In this issue:
Bishop Nalbandian at St. Sarkis Church
ACC UK Annual Cocktail Reception
Multi-Faith Forum
In Memoriam: Dikranouhi Darzi
The Sunday of the Dishonest Steward
Bishop Armash is the Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus, Syria. During his visit, His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan invited Bishop Armash to St Sarkis Church to preach on the third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. Bishop Armash expressed his fraternal gratitude to the Primate and reflected on the Gospel reading of the day, based on Luke 15:11-32. Particularly, he emphasised the need for confession and repentance. “Last Sunday we remembered the fall of the first man and woman. Like them, now we are also deprived of the joy of paradise. We are invited to confess and repent.” At the end of the service there was a small reception at the Nevart Gulbenkian Hall. Bishop Armash was invited to speak about the situation of the Armenian community in Syria and in particular in Damascus. He presented the geopolitical situation around Syria and the situation of the Armenian community. He quoted statistics
“We are not only to listen today what is said, which is of course good, but also to open widely our pockets to support them as our brethren and sisters are in desperate need of support and care’’ added one of our beloved members of the London Armenian community, Mr Assadour Guzelian, following His Grace Bishop Armash Nalbandian’s talk on Syria’s current state and what must be done to help our fellow Armenians there.
Diocese of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Diocesan Office
Tel. 0208 127 8364 primatesoffice@
Page 2
Armenian Church News
about migration from Syria and also specifically referred to the Kessab attacks (a historical Armenian village on the banks of the Mediterranean) from the Turkish side and to the explosion of the Armenian Church of Holy Martyrs in Der el–Zore, on 21st September 2014 by terrorists. Bishop Armash emphasised that although there is a big migration, and in spite of warfare, the community is still strong and is filled with hope. There are functioning schools; the churches are full with people, the Armenian organisations are functioning and community life continues. He also thanked the Armenian Diaspora communities for their constant support.
Community members were able to put questions to Bishop Armash to find out first-hand information about the issues affecting the Syrian Armenians. Bishop Hovakim concluded by thanking Bishop Armash for staying a few days in London and making the presentation. He also updated the congregation on the upcoming events in support of Syrian Armenians, such as the Sacred Armenian and Classical music concert which will be held at the St Yeghiche Church on 19th March at 7.30 pm (Tickets are £15 and all proceeds will go towards Syrian Relief).
Page 3
Armenian Church News
ACC UK Annual Cocktail Reception
On 20th February the Armenian Community Council of the UK held its Annual Cocktail Reception at the Marriot Hotel in London, to honour and thank the Council’s committees for their activities during the year. The members and spouses of the different committees and sub- committees of the Council were present at the gathering, among them members of the Council and its Executive Committee. The committees represented included CRAG (Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide), Ladies’, Publications, Registrations, Heritage, Cultural and Kashatagh, and Syrian Armenian Relief. The staff and trustees of K Tahta Armenian Community Sunday School which functions under the auspices of ACC were also present.
Mrs. Matilda Megerdichian, Chair of the ACC Executive Committee, reported on the annual activities of ACC and thanked members of the various committees and sub-
committees for their dedicated work. Mrs. Megerdichian mentioned that this year, additionally, invitations had been extended to members of the Armenian Genocide Centenary Commemoration Committee who had done excellent work during 2015. She went on to emphasise that the work of demanding recognition of the Genocide had not by any means come to an end by the passing of the Centenary and that CRAG - which has been active since 1965 - will carry on their work. A number of former members of the Centenary Committee have already joined CRAG to take part in its work.
The Primate then conveyed his blessings to those present. The cultural entertainment was provided by Ms Maral Baghjian and Ms Sevan Injejikian who performed two Armenian dances beautifully. The poet Ms Gayané Khachatryan recited two of her
Page 4
Armenian Church News
poems dedicated to the Armenian Community Council and the Sunday School.
At the end of the meeting Bishop Armash Nalbandian, the visiting Primate of the Diocese of Damascus was invited to give his blessing and say a few words about the situation of the Armenian Community in Syria. Also present were the Rev Fr Shnork Baghdassarian, Pastor of St Sarkis Church and the Very Rev Fr Vram Gazaryan, newly arrived from the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin to undertake church services at St Yeghiche Church.
Page 5
Armenian Church News
Ecumenical News
Multi-Faith Guests Welcomed in St Sarkis
Members of the Elmbridge Multi-Faith Forum visited St Sarkis Church on 24th February as part of an “educational day” to learn about Armenians and the Armenian Church. EMFF was established in 2004 byrepresentatives of all faiths in the Borough of Elmbridge. This special trip to St Sarkis was organised by Mr Raffi Sarkissian, who introduced the speakers.
Dr Hratch Tchilingirian warmly welcomed the visitors and gave a short introductory talk about the Armenians and their Church, focusing on the sources of faith of the Armenian Church, her place in the larger family of Christian churches and her traditions. This was followed by His Grace Bishop Hovakim’s presentation about ecumenism and recent developments in the relationship of churches towards a common understanding. The speakers then answered questions from the audience, who were in an Armenian church for the first time. At the conclusion of the presentations, EMFF Chairman Dr Nabil Mustapha thanked Bishop Hovakim and Dr Tchilingirian for their informative talks and warm hospitality. The guests were then invited to a reception in the Vicarage were the conversations continued over Armenian Lenten delicacies.
Page 6
Armenian Church News
Community Life
In Memory of Dikranouhi Darzi
It is with great sadness that we announce that at the age of 82, one of our beloved community members, Mrs Dikranouhi Darzi, has passed away. The funeral service took place on 16th February at St Sarkis Church where Mrs Darzi was an active member of the congregation.
Members, friends and relatives of the Darzi family were present to give their last tributes and respects in memory of the late Dikranouhi Darzi, among them the Armenian Ambassador Dr Armen Sarkissian, and Mrs Nune Sarkissian.
The prayer service was led by Bishop Armash Nalbandian, the visiting Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Damascus. Anais Heghoyan, Aris Nadirian and Sipan Hakopyan sang Armenian sharagans (hymns) during the service accompanied on the organ by Deacon Artur Bobikyan.
During the service Mrs Darzi’s grandchildren Tania, Freddie and Nina assisted the clergy reading Psalms and the Epistles.
Bishop Hovakim Manukyan read a letter of condolence letter from His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, addressed to Lord Ara Darzi and his family on the sad occasion of the passing of their beloved mother. After the final prayer, the eulogy was read by Lord Ara Darzi. Sharing his thoughts, Lord Darzi said: “As I stand here today, I know that no words can do justice to the fullness of my mum’s life. In these few words, I simply hope that I can capture something of the essence of a woman whose force was so powerful in all our lives. Mum was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. A great, strong, proudly Armenian lady. The essence of who she was continued to shine through even in these last months. Her tender charm, her unwavering resolve and her gracious pride never faltered. ... She kept all of us going, always looking forward, as our family moved from Iraq and finally settled here in London in the 1970s. No matter where our family were to be found, our heart and soul will always remain Armenian. Mum’s own strength was drawn from the deep well of Armenia’s ancient history and vibrant culture. How she loved to visit Yerevan! With every trip she was filled with excitement at seeing the friends and the country that she loved so dearly. She showed her commitment in her dedicated attendance at church. It was her one great regret in this past year that she was too physically frail to travel to Yerevan and take the Holy Communion with her
Page 7
Armenian Church News
friends. We are grateful, however, to His Grace for his caring support in bringing this to her at home. Mum was determined that her children would show no less commitment either to church or to culture than she did. She made sure I was a choir boy, and that Vilma and I had Armenian tutors to maintain our language and our deep knowledge of Armenia”.
Dikranouhi Samuel Hagopian Darzi was born in Baghdad on 8th October 1934. She was the second youngest out of six children. Her grandparents and parents emigrated from Armenia to Persia, and then onto Baghdad, where Dicky was born. As a young girl she developed a love for Armenian poetry and enjoyed reciting it at her Armenian school functions. Singing was another of her talents. She particularly enjoyed all the old Armenian troubadour songs.
In Baghdad, Dicky led a very active life promoting the role of Armenian women in local communities and society. She was president of the Armenian Women’s Society, and a prominent committee member of the Regina Nursing Home. She was actively involved in charitable work and fundraising helping the Armenian community and its church. On arrival in England she became a member of the Armenian Relief Society. She married Vartkes in 1959 and had two children, Ara and Vilma, and three grandchildren. On arrival in London she developed a variety of newfound hobbies. She was a talented porcelain painter with a special interest in painting religious icons. She also had a passion for playing bridge, which became a central part of her life. May God rest her soul.
Spirituality: a thought for spiritual meditation
The Sunday of Dishonest Steward
Sunday, 28th February, is the fourth Sunday in the Golden chain of the Lenten Sundays. The Father of the Armenian Church has named the day “The Sunday of the Dishonest Steward.” The name was taken from the Gospel of Luke 16:1-9.
In the account of St Luke we read “And he said also unto his disciples: ‘There was a certain rich man, who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. And he called him, and said unto him, how is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. Then the steward said within himself, what shall I do? For my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to
Page 8
Armenian Church News
beg I am ashamed. I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, take thy bill, and write fourscore. And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.’ And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations”.
Each of us is a steward in the Lord’s creation. Whether we are God’s stewards or not we do not know and cannot know. But Jesus teaches us like the sons of this world who try to use every opportunity, including their intellect, to secure their life on earth, the sons of light should also do the same using their God-given opportunities to secure a superior and valuable life. Jesus states clearly, “Make friends by means of dishonest wealth, so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes”.
What does Jesus mean by this very simple phrase? Each coin given to the poor is a way of making friends on earth and in heaven. This is best illustrated by the Lord’s eternal words, saying, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing ... Because as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:35-40). Thus, any almsgiving on earth, large or small, is an intercession in heaven before God Almighty.
“Any almsgiving on earth, large or small, is an intercession in heaven before God Almighty”
Page 9
Armenian Church News
This sacred & classical Armenian music concert will be feature:
four soloists from the Saghmosergu Male Choir from Armenia:
Vahe Begoyan, Andranik Malkhasyan, Abel Kyureghyan and Aren Avetyan
Aris Nadirian (Musical Director of the London Armenian Opera)
Anais Heghoyan (Mezzo and Chairman of the Armenian Church Youth Fellowship) The London Armenian Opera Chorus
to sing sacred and classical music from our treasured Armenian composers
Saturday 19th March 2016
The concert will be at the glorious St. Yeghiche Cathedral in Cranley Gardens, London, SW7 3BB and costs £15 a ticket which can be purchased at the door on the day
ALL proceeds from this concert will be donated to Syrian Relief
Any questions please contact the Primate's Office on:
Page 10
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Armenian Church News
6th – 14th June 2016
A unique opportunity to explore the Holy Land and the legacy of the Armenian Church in Jerusalem
Armenians have made pilgrimages to the Holy Land since the 5th century. It is a unique opportunity for every Christian man and woman to have a spiritual journey and retreat. On 9th June, the pilgrims will participate in the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Feast of Ascension of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Old Julian Calendar).
For the Armenian pilgrims it has another added value because apart from visiting Holy Places they will visit the Armenian quarter and St. James Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem to get acquainted with the legacy of the Armenian fathers in Jerusalem.
The group will be led by the Primate, Bishop Hovakim Manukyan. Special guides will facilitate the visits. The group will stay five days in Jerusalem at the Christmas Hotel, two nights in Tiberias at the Boutique Hotel and one night in Tel Aviv at the Deborah Hotel.
Cost: £1600(singleroom)
£1350 (shared room)
Includes: accommodation, return flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv Airport (including airport taxes and fuel charges), Armenian/English speaking guide services, deluxe coach with free WIFI, entrance fees for tourist attractions on itinerary, half board basis (two meals daily), and farewell dinner.
For more information, please contact:
Page 11 Armenian Church News
Page 12
Armenian Church News
Page 14
Armenian Church News
Upcoming Events
DIOCESAN PROGRAMMES Forthcoming Events in March
Bible Studies
Every Thursday, at St. Sarkis Church Gulbenkian Hall led by the Primate and the clergy of the Diocese
Next dates: March 3rd, 10th, 17thBible Studies are an important part of the church’s ministry as they provide opportunities for the faithful and those who are interested and curious to have a deeper understanding of Christianity and to ask questions about their faith, beliefs and concerns. During Bible studies we make observations (what do passages in the Bible say?), provide interpretation (what do they mean?) and ask how applicable these passages are to our lives today. Open to everyone.
Great Lent
Liturgy of the Hour of Peace (Խաղաղական ժամերգութիւն) or Liturgy of the
Hour of Rest (Հանգստեան ժամերգութիւն)
St Sarkis Church continues its tradition of Friday night evening Lenten vigil
services. The Services start at 6:30 pm. There will be services on March 4th, 11th,
The services are followed by a Lenten fellowship meal at the Nevart Gulbenkian hall, where the faithful have the opportunity to socialise and encounter the clergy. The faithful are welcome to make a small donation during these meals.
Each meal is prepared by a London–based Armenian organisation such as Primate’s Office, ACYF, St Sarkis and St Yeghiche Ladies Committees and the K Tahta Armenian Sunday School.
Liturgy of the Hour of Sunrise (Արեւագալի ժամերգութիւն)
There will be the Liturgy of the Hour of Sunrise, in the Armenian Churches at St Yeghiche and St Sarkis Churches every Sunday after the Eucharistic service.
There will be also Liturgies of the Hour of Sunrise at St Sarkis Church every Wednesday at 10:30 am on March 2nd, 9th, and 16th
Armenian Sacred and Classical Music Concert for Syrian Relief
Saturday, 19th March, 7:30 pm, St. Yeghiche Church
A concert of Armenian Sacred and Classical Music welcoming in Holy Week. Musical Director Aris Nadirian and Anais Heghoyan will be coordinating this concert. Invited to perform will be soloists from Saghmosergu male ensemble from Armenia and The London Armenian Opera Chorus. Tickets can be purchased at St. Yeghiche Church on the day at £15 and all profits made from the concert will go to Syria Relief.
Page 15
Armenian Church News
Holy Week Celebrations in the Armenian Churches of Holy Trinity in Manchester, St Sarkis and St Yeghiche in London
Palm Sunday (Ծաղկազարդ) and Blessing of Children
Sunday, 20th March, 11:00am
The Liturgy will be followed by the rite of Opening of Doors (Դռնբացէք)
Holy Thursday
Thursday, 24th March, 11:00am
Liturgy of Institution of the Eucharist, 4:30pm Washing of Feet ceremony (Ոտնլուայ), 7: 30pm Passion Evening
Good Friday
Friday, 25th March, 4:30pm
Burial Service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
Easter Eve
Saturday, 26th March, 5:30pm
Easter Eve Liturgy
Easter Divine Liturgy
Sunday, 27th March, 11:00am
Easter Luncheon
Sunday, 27th March, 2:00pm, Copthorne Tara Hotel
To celebrate Easter together and to feel the joy of unity at Eastertide
The main objective of the diocesan e-newsletter is to serve and reach out to Armenians throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. The community members and organisations are welcome to send their announcements for the e-newsletter, including information not only about public events but also about important family events such as christening, matrimony or passing away.
Prayer intentions for February
We join sister Churches and pray that people may take good care of creation – a gift freely given – cultivating and protecting it for future generations
Page 16
Armenian Church News
Worship Services in the Armenian Churches
Services are held in the Armenian Churches in London every Sunday starting at 11:00 am. In Manchester, there is a service on the 1st Sunday of the month. For further details, please contact the parish nearest to you:
Holy Trinity Armenian Church
229 Upper Brook Street Manchester, M13 0FY
Tel: 0161 273 1074
St. Sarkis Church
Iverna Gardens Kensington, London, W8 6TP Tel: 020 7937 0152
St. Yeghiche Cathedral
13b Cranley Gardens Kensington, London SW7 3BB Tel: 020 7373 8133
Other Parishes of our Diocese:
Cardiff - Tel: + 44 771 279 2304, +44 2920779248.
Dublin - Tel: +44 2891 863559.
Birmingham – Tel: +44 121 675 1469. St John’s Church, Stratford Road, Birmingham, B11 4EA Oxford - Tel: +44 7810 490242.
We invite those who have questions or wish to gain deeper understanding of the faith, moral discernment, teachings and traditions of the Armenian Church to contact the Office of the Diocese of the Armenian Church in United Kingdom and Ireland:
The Primate’s Office
c/o The Armenian Vicarage
Iverna Gardens
London, W8 6TP
or email:
Editorial Committee:
His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate
Garen Arevian
Lena Boghossian
Hovik Hovhannisyan Aznive Simon
Gagik Stepan-Sarkissian Sossi Yerissian