Moscow, April 20, 2015
The Armenian Apostolic Church will canonize all victims of the Armenian genocide on April 23.
"The main event is scheduled for April 23: canonization by the Armenian Church of all genocide victims. Over half a million of people will be named as martyrs for faith and the fatherland," Archbishop Yezras (Nersisyan), the head of the Novo-Nakhichevan and Russian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, said in an interview published in the Monday edition of the magazine Ogonyok.
Archbishop Yezras said events devoted to the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire will be conducted in different countries in the next few days. Church services will take place and all organize Armenian communities will hold memorial events, including concerts, the opening of khachkars (traditional memorial steles bearing a cross) and exhibits of archive materials.
One hundred bell chimes will be given in Christian churches.
"We have received a blessing from His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. On this day, which is important to our brotherly Churches, bells will also chime on the cathedral of Christ the Savior and a cathedral choir will sing Our Father and Holy Lord in Armenian," the archbishop said.
The exhibit entitled "Russian View of the Genocide of Armenians" will open in the Great Patriotic War Museum in Moscow's Poklonnaya Gora.
On April 24, the world will mark the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Some 1.5 million people fell victims to the mass killings. However, Turkey does not officially recognize this fact.
On April 12, Pope Francis served a mass in memory of the victims of the genocide of Armenians. The mass was attended by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
During the mass, the pope called the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire genocide. That was the first time a pope used the term "genocide" referring to the 1915 events.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry sharply criticized the pope's statement and summoned the Vatican ambassador to Turkey for explanations.