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Pope to address again first genocide of the 20th century

2016-06-17

Six hundred thousand were massacred, 400,000 died during deportation and more than 200,000 were forced to abandon their religion and convert is Islam. These are the numbers from the first genocide of the 20th Century, the Armenian genocide, in April 1915, which is represented by the red circles on this map.

During his visit to Armenia from June 24-26, Pope Francis will address this tragedy, just as he did last year in commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the horrific happenings.

POPE FRANCIS 
April 12, 2015
"In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide of the twentieth century,' struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and Greeks.”

The Pope will spend time at The Armenian Genocide Museum, which recognizes the lives of all those who fled and were killed by the Turks. 

Turkey refuses to acknowledge this as a genocide, arguing this was not a planned attack, but many, including the researcher for the Armenian Genocide Vatican Archives, think otherwise. 

FR. GEORGES HENRI RUYSSEN
Expert on Armenian Genocide
"The genocide was planned, a genocide is always planned, and it was planned by those who were in charge of the government, who were at power in the government in Constantinople during the first World War.”

Fr. Georges has spent the last eight years studying and collecting every Vatican document about this subject matter. He says that during this period, it was only the Vatican, with Benedict XV as pope, who voiced its opinion and denounced the genocide with two official protest letters to the Ottoman sultan. He adds that Pope Benedict XV was the only religious leader and head of state to officially object to the actions taking place in the Middle East. 

FR. GEORGES HENRI RUYSSEN
Expert on Armenian Genocide 
"No other Christian nation, and I repeat, no other Christian nation has felt in it's own flesh, what it means. What is the burden of being almost annihilated for the sake of their faith. No other Christian nation has lived that in it's own flesh.” 

This suffering that was a genocide 100 years ago is still continuing today. A steady process of exterminating those who do not share the same faith or the same beliefs is seizing the world and must be stopped. Pope Francis will certainly have similar remarks later this month, in Armenia.



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