Armenian genocide was ideological, not religious, says Armenian prelate
April 14, 2015
The Armenian genocide was motivated by ideology, not religion, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Cilicia told Vatican Insider. But he added that today, the Turkish government is seeking to focus on religious differences.
Catholicos Aram I said that while the Turkish regime resists the use of the term “genocide” to describe the mass killings of 1915, “the intent of Turkey was genocidal.” He explained that the Armenian people, with their own ethnic culture, were an obstacle to the pan-Turkish ideology of the secular regime. “Religion was not a factor,” he said.
Today, however, Turkey has angrily protested the reference by Pope Francis to the Armenian genocide, saying that the Pope’s remarks were based on prejudice—hinting at a Christian bias against an Islamic country.
“Now they are using religion in order to create this sensitivity between Christianity and Islam,” Catholicos Aram said. “That is not acceptable.”
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- Aram I: The Armenians were not massacred because they were Christians (Vatican Insider)
- Turkey recalls ambassador to Holy See, protests Pope's statement on Armenian genocide (CWN, 4/13)
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