Washington, D.C. — In Defense of Christians (IDC) Executive Director Kirsten Evans today issued the following statement:
“Today, April 24th, is the hundredth year anniversary of the events referred to as the ‘Armenian Genocide.’ Last week the European Parliament joined its voice with other international bodies in recognizing the Armenian Genocide in ‘memory of the one-and-a-half million innocent Armenian victims who perished in the Ottoman Empire.’ Germany and Australia are among the nations that have also recently voiced official recognition of the crime against humanity. In Defense of Christians (IDC) applauds the international community for its growing acknowledgment of this tragic episode in human history.
“IDC agrees that ‘genocide,’ defined by the United Nations as acts committed with intent to destroy a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, accurately describes the systematic eradication of minority Christian populations that took place one hundred years ago. The campaign of religious cleansing targeted men, women, and children, murdering more than a million Armenians, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, and many vulnerable members of other ancient Christian communities.
“In the face of the current ethnic cleansing of Christian communities in Iraq and Syria by the Islamic State, and the targeting of Christians by extremist groups in other parts of the world, acknowledgement of this dark chapter of history is imperative. Recognition, as highlighted by both the EU and Pope Francis, is not only necessary for reconciliation and healing, but to protect the world from repeating similar horrors. In the words of Pope Francis, ‘Only in this way will new generations open themselves to a better future and will the sacrifice of so many become seeds of justice and peace.’
“In Defense of Christians (IDC) stands in solidarity with the descendants of the Armenian Genocide on this day of mourning and remembrance, as well as with the many Middle Eastern Christian communities that continue to suffer persecution today.
“As we remember the Armenian Genocide on its centenary, IDC calls upon the global community to acknowledge the historic reality of the Ottoman genocide of the Armenian people and to work unremittingly to keep atrocities such as this one from repeating in the Middle East today.”
IDC exists to empower the Middle Eastern Christian Diaspora and energize the American people to stand in solidarity with the Christian communities in the region. Last September, at IDC’s Inaugural Summit, “Protecting and Preserving Christianity — Where It All Began,” Members of Congress, members of the Diaspora, and religious leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C. to champion the cause of Middle Eastern Christians through awareness, advocacy, and unity.