HOMS ARMENIANS FORCED TO FLEE HOMES
Following the Houla massacres that left over 100 people dead,
the Islamic forces in Homs are urging the local Armenians to leave
They reportedly walk from house to house in Syria's Armenian populated
city, forcing the Christians to leave their abodes immediately.
Aid to the Church in Need is going to render a $60 monthly assistance
to each Armenian family in Homs. They are also hopeful to organize
the refugees' return to their houses.
The Christian Armenian community suffered losses as a result of a
May 19 attack against the Armenian church and school. Catholicos
Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia has condemned the violence. The
Isahakyan church and an Armenian school in the city's Christian-
populated district are now serving as a shelter and hospital for the
So far, 50,000 Syrian Christians have fled to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq
and Turkey. All the rest are said to have found a shelter in an
Aleppo-based Jesuit refugee assistance center.
Syrian-Armenian soldier tortured by rebels
15:12, 2 June, 2012
YEREVAN, JUNE 2, ARMENPRESS: Details on the death of the
Syrian-Armenian soldier have shocked the entire Armenian community. It
is already known that Damascus-based soldier Levon Kuyumjyan has not
been killed from a fire shot by rebels in the territory of Bab al
Hawa, but in consequence of cruel tortures.
It became clear that the 22-year-old Armenian young man had been
tortured after his body was handed to parents, representative of
Armenian community of Syria Nazareth Elmadzyan told Armenpress.
About the 15-month-long clashes in Syria between the governmental and
opposition forces have had their hard consequences for the
Syrian-Armenian community. Four Armenians have fallen victims to the
clashes that are intensifying day by day.
Serviceman Vigen Hayrapetyan and Aleppo resident Araxi Petrosyan have
been killed in consequence of the explosions in Aleppo. 57 year-old
Raffi Karjyan has been killed in his house in Holms. Levon Kuyumjyan
has added to their number.
THE INDEPENDENT: SNIPERS ON THE ARMENIAN BORDER
Dr. Adrian C Pont, fellow worker of Oxford University, has published
a letter in the British magazine "Independent" about his journey to
Armenia. Mr. Pont especially says:
"Amid the hysteria generated by the Eurovision Song Contest, we
should not overlook the aggressive attitude of Azerbaijan towards
its neighbor Armenia.
Last week, while participating in a scientific collaboration with
Armenian colleagues, I was in the north of Armenia and at various
points very close to the border with Azerbaijan. In one village people
came out of their houses to advise us not to drive further along the
road as Azerbaijani snipers were regularly shooting across the border.
A number of people, peacefully working in their fields, and even
schoolchildren had been shot dead. Such incidents are widespread.
The purpose of such killings can only be to provoke retaliation by
Armenia, creating a "border incident" and enabling Azerbaijan to try
to annexe yet another small mountainous enclave of Armenia.
This part of Armenia is ethnically Armenian and the inhabitants
are Christian and speak Armenian. They would have no wish to
be incorporated into Islamic Azerbaijan, where they would suffer
persecution or worse. Let us hope that democratic choice and the rule
of law will prevail".
Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire 200 time since the past week
(in advance of Hilary Clinton’s visit to Armenia)
According to the data of the NKR Ministry of Defense, the Azerbaijani
side violated the ceasefire about 200 times at the line of contact
between the armed forces of Karabakh and Azerbaijan from Jay 27 to
The rival fired more than 1,200 shots from weapons of different
caliber in the direction of the Armenian positions.
Committed to the maintenance of the ceasefire regime, divisions of the
NKR Defense Army mostly refrained from response actions and
confidently carried out their military duty all along the line of
contact, Press and information Department of the NKR Defense Army
HOW IS ARMENIAN INTEREST PRESENTED IN GREAT BRITAIN?
Recently Armenian Ambassador to Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Karine Ghazinyan answered to the questions by the correspondent of BBC
Azerbaijani service. The journalist had two main topics: military
parade of the Artsakh Defense Army on the 20th anniversary of Shoushi
liberation and Armenian decision to refuse participation in the
One may think this was a great opportunity for Mrs. Ambassador to
present to the whole world huge efforts and achievements by two
Armenian states, to speak about the challenges which Artsakh Republic
faces and so on. But? it became clear that Karine Ghazinyan is unable
to present a balanced, unemotional and diplomatic speech. Moreover,
she does not know the details of previous and current levels of
Unfortunately, problem of Armenian diplomats has appeared under media
consideration for many times. When Armenian diplomats leave for the
foreign countries they do not concentrate on the main issues during
their diplomatic mission. No, they take into consideration some
secondary topics. But how this attitude can be accepted for the
Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Isn’t it possible to prepare the
diplomats for the mission properly? These questions are not rhetoric.
Armenian PM Set To Keep Job
Tigran Sarkisian is likely to be reappointed as prime minister and
head Armenia's new government that will be formed later this month, a
leading member of the ruling Republican Party (HHK) said on Friday.
Sarkisian and all members of his cabinet submitted their resignations
to President Serzh Sarkisian as the new Armenian parliament elected on
May 6 held its opening session on Thursday. Under the Armenian
constitution, the head of state has ten days to appoint a new prime
minister. The new government is to be formed within the following 20
`I don't think that there will be a change of prime minister,' Galust
Sahakian, a deputy chairman of the HHK, told RFE/RL's Armenian service
(Azatutyun.am). He said most of the outgoing ministers affiliated with
the HHK will also likely retain their posts.
Sahakian also revealed that President Sarkisian will begin on Saturday
consultations with senior lawmakers from the HHK and the Orinats
Yerkir Party, its junior partner in the new ruling coalition, on the
government's composition. `Tomorrow the issue will be discussed with
the political majority [in the parliament] and it will become clear
which portfolios will go to Orinats Yerkir and which ones to the
Republican Party,' he said.
The two parties signed a new power-sharing deal earlier this
week. Orinats Yerkir is expected to retain control of three
The party's deputy chairwoman, Heghine Bisharian, said two of the
acting cabinet members representing Orinats Yerkir, Agriculture
Minister Sergo Karapetian and Emergency Situations Minister Armen
Yeritsian, may well keep their jobs.
Sahakian confirmed that the HHK will get the bulk of the four
ministerial posts that have been controlled until now by the
Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the third partner in the outgoing
coalition. The BHK decided to pull out of the government after
finishing second in last month's parliamentary elections.
Film to portray Leonardo DaVinci's travels in Cilicia
June 2, 2012 - 16:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A new film by history buff Arsen Hakobyan of Armenia
intends to put into perspective Armenia's influence on Europe, both in
terms of exporting Christianity, as well as exporting its church
architecture and numerous saints, according to The Armenian
The film, shot on location in Armenia as well as in Georgia and
several European countries, gives as examples churches in Europe that
were built heavily influenced by the Armenian church structure - most
perfectly and earliest executed in Echmiazdin and Bagaran. Among those
churches is San Satiro in Milan, the original structure of which was
based on the seventh-century Bagaran church.
The DVD can be watched in Armenian, English, Russian or French.
The film also spends time on the reported travels by Renaissance
genius Leonardo DaVinci in Cilicia, specifically around the Taurus
Mountains. According to his Codex Atlanticus, housed in the Ambrosian
Library in Milan, he spent some time in Cilicia in the 1480s, where he
witnessed an earthquake in Erzinga. He had reportedly gone there at
the behest of the Sacred Sultan of Egypt. He sketched many faces, as
well as the topography of the region.
The filmmaker, Hakobyan, said that the film would be `for all the
people who don't know Armenia and Armenian history.' In particular, he
said, Armenians sent many proselytizers to Europe to preach
Christianity, some even long before the formal adoption of
Christianity as the state religion in 301 AD.
LUSINE ZAKARYAN WOULD MARK HER 75TH
"When Lusine things "Saint-saint" angels descend in Holy See and
glorify God for singing and for the talent gifted to her," Supreme
Patriarch of All Armenians Vazgen I used to say about Lusine Zakaryan.
Today the renowned Armenians soprano, People's Artist of Soviet
Armenia Lusine Zakaryan would mark her 75th anniversary.
Lusine Zakaryan was born in 1937, in Akhaltsikhe, Georgian SSR.
Zakaryan died in 30 December 1992.
In 1952 she moved with her family to Yerevan, where she attended
a secondary music school. She entered the Yerevan State Musical
Conservatory in 1957. From 1970 to 1983 Zakaryan was a soloist with
the symphony orchestra of Armenian TV and Radio.
She also sang in the choir of theArmenian Apostolic Church's Holy
See at the Echmiadzin Cathedral, and it is for her magnificent
rendition of centuries-old Armenian spiritual hymns that she is now
most remembered for.
REVERED JERUSALEM CHURCH AT JESUS CRUCIFIXION SITE
COMES ALIVE IN CENTURIES-OLD NIGHT CEREMONY
May 31 2012
By DANIELA BERRETTA | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Revered Jerusalem church comes alive at night
After the last tourists leave the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in
Jerusalem's Old City at nightfall, a little-known but centuries-old
tradition unfolds at one of Christianity's holiest sites.
Clerics from the three largest denominations represented in the church
_ Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic _ gather each night
for special prayers reserved for the men who take care of the site
where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
Starting at midnight, clerics and monks sing and pray for hours,
their chants echoing through the cavernous chambers of the Holy
Sepulcher's darkest rooms.
"The door of the church is closed, no pilgrims, no tourists, it's
very quiet," said Father Isidoros Fakitsas, the superior of the Greek
Orthodox Patriarchate at the church. "It's amazing to feel the liturgy
with no people, only the monks."
Isidoros said he has attended the services for 21 years.
The preparations require a rigid routine. Before the first prayers of
the new day, the Christian shrine needs to be cleaned, and maintenance
work has to be done.
The clerics sweep the floors, replace oil lamps and clean candle
holders, after thousands of pilgrims visited throughout the previous
day. Occasionally a small number of devoted pilgrims help them with the
cleanup and are permitted to stay and pray inside the church all night.
The early morning mass is a tradition associated with monastic life,
said Father Eugenio Alliata, professor of Christian Archaeology at
the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem. "Mostly monks and
religious people want to pray not only all the day, but also all the
night, or part of the day or part of the night. It is part of the
desire to pray without ceasing because prayers to God must be given
all the time, day and night," Alliata said.
Father Fergus Clarke, the guardian for the Franciscan community inside
the Holy Sepulcher, said the night prayers require a certain amount
of personal sacrifice, but also bring greater spiritual fulfillment.
"That's a wonderful vocation ... to be able to do something like that,
to know that while people are sleeping, others are praying," he said.
The night liturgies inside the Holy Sepulcher are regulated by a
consolidated tradition: The Greek-Orthodox start to celebrate mass
inside Jesus' Tomb at 12:30 a.m., before handing over to the Armenians
and then the Franciscans. The Greek Orthodox liturgy at the tomb is
the longest, lasting for about three and a half hours; the Armenians
then take over for an hour and a half and the Franciscans for another
The night service is subject to some variations. On the feast of
Saint Matthias on the morning of May 14, for example, Catholics lead
a procession to Jesus' tomb during the Greek Orthodox liturgy.
Sounds collided with one another that night. The celestial voices of
Armenian priests rose from their wing of the Church as the sound of
a Franciscan pipe organ came from the opposite direction.
Competing for attention is nothing new in the ancient church. The three
main denominations that share the church jealously guard their turf,
and an air of mistrust lingers as each group makes sure no one else
crosses into their space.
While the Tomb of Jesus and the main passages of the Holy Sepulcher
are considered common spaces, the three main religious communities
each own a part of the church: The Chapel of Saint Helen, near the
place where Jesus' cross is said to have been found, belongs to the
Armenians; the Greek-Orthodox Church has ownership over the largest
part of the church, including the Altar of the Calvary, where Jesus's
cross was raised; the Franciscans own the Chapel of the Crucifixion
where Jesus was crucified, along with the northern part of the Church,
where according to tradition Jesus appeared to his mother.
The church was first built by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325,
at the site where the tomb of Jesus was believed to have been found.
Constantine's structure was destroyed in 1009 by Muslim Caliph
al-Hakim. A 12th century restoration by the Crusaders gave the Holy
Sepulcher its current appearance.
Life inside the Holy Sepulcher is regulated by a complex maze of
norms that are often subject to different interpretations, said Father
Samuel Aghoyan, the Armenian Superior of the Holy Sepulcher. At times,
tensions have even spilled over into violence, with monks pushing
and punching each other.
"We keep almost awake at night here to see that things are done
properly, on time, that no one will trespass the other's right by
doing things that he's not supposed to do," said Father Samuel. "So
we have to be careful and watch what we do or what they do."