U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) welcomed His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, who serves as the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today. Archbishop Choloyan offered the opening prayer and commemorated the 98th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide. In addition, the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, of which Cicilline is a member, will host the Capitol Hill Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide later this evening.
The full text of Cicilline’s remarks is provided below:
“Mr. Speaker, as the representative for Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, which is home to many Armenian-American families, I am honored to rise today in order to thank his Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan for offering our opening prayer and for recognizing the 98th Anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.
A native of Aleppo, Syria, Archbishop Choloyan was first ordained into the priesthood in 1967. He attended the American University of Beirut where he majored in history and later received two Masters Degrees from the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Since 1998, Archbishop Choloyan has served as the Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America and focused his efforts on strengthening local faith communities under his jurisdiction.
On behalf of the Armenian community in my home state of Rhode Island, I am honored to welcome the Archbishop here today, and to join him in remembering the victims of the Armenian Genocide – the systematic extermination of Armenians living under the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
And I join the members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues in urging that our government finally recognize the Armenian Genocide as a historical fact.”