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Catholicos Aram I Urges U.S. Action on Artsakh Refugee Crisis in Capitol Hill Discussions


Catholicos Aram I Urges U.S. Action on Artsakh Refugee Crisis in Capitol Hill Discussions

His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church, called for American leadership in providing assistance to the 100,000 Armenian Christian refugees from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) during discussions with U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and several U.S. Representatives on Capitol Hill.

Photo credit: Congressman Jim Costa Facebook Page
Photo credit: Congressman Jim Costa Facebook Page

The esteemed Armenian pontiff was invited to Capitol Hill by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and served as the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives. His visit included a meeting with Speaker Johnson, Rep. Schiff, and U.S. House Chaplain Rev. Dr. Margaret Grun Kibben. Following the meeting, His Holiness Aram I delivered the opening prayer during the U.S. House of Representatives session, urging divine assistance for the more than 100,000 Armenian refugees forced to leave Nagorno-Karabakh.

Photo credit: Congressman Jim Costa Facebook Page
Photo credit: Congressman Jim Costa Facebook Page

In remarks on the U.S. House floor, Rep. Schiff welcomed His Holiness Aram I to Congress, praising his commitment to the values of faith, community, and compassion. Rep. Schiff highlighted the pontiff's contributions to humanitarian issues, advocacy for human rights, educational and cultural initiatives, and promotion of interfaith understanding, acknowledging the indelible mark left by His Holiness Aram I.


After the prayer, His Holiness Aram I engaged in discussions with Speaker Pelosi, House Democratic Whip Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA), and other Representatives at a reception hosted by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). The pontiff also met separately with Rep. Jerry Carl (R-AL) and commended members of the Congressional Armenian Staff Association for their efforts in raising awareness of Armenian American concerns.

Photo credit: Congressman Jim Costa Facebook Page
Photo credit: Congressman Jim Costa Facebook Page

Prior to leaving the Capitol, His Holiness Aram I led fellow clergy in a poignant rendition of The Lord’s Prayer, sung in Armenian, in the Congressional Prayer Room near the rotunda in the United States Capitol.


Accompanied by a delegation including Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern U.S. Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and other clergy members, His Holiness Aram I's visit to Washington, D.C. marks the first stop in his mission to revitalize Diasporan life, continuing through the Eastern Prelacy. The visit encompasses various activities and engagements aimed at fostering a renewed sense of community and addressing the ongoing refugee crisis stemming from the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.



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