On April 29, Bishop of Šiauliai Eugenijus Bartulis celebrated a Divine Liturgy at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral of Šiauliai dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
The liturgy, initiated by the Armenian Embassy in Lithuania, was attended by hundreds of Šiauliai residents, as well as representatives of the Armenian community.
Bishop Bartouris in his speech touched upon historical facts, underlining that the orders on the execution of the crime of the Armenian Genocide were made by the government of Ottoman Empire and it was a deliberate and planned crime. The Bishop touched upon the tradition of commemoration of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, mentioning the eternal flame burning in Tsitsernakaberd memorial complex as a unique symbol.
Tigran Mkrtchyan, Armenian Ambassador to Lithuania, delivered a speech during the Divine Liturgy, who presented some facts about the Armenian Genocide, underlining that the publication of the Vatican secret documents gave new opportunities for the research of the Armenian Genocide. The Ambassador touched upon the correspondence of Pope Benedict XV, Catholic priests Angelo Dolci, Michael Liebl and noted that 48 bishops and 4500 priests were murdered during the Genocide, 87% of Armenian Catholics was exterminated, 2200 Armenian churches were looted and destroyed. Concluding his speech the Ambassador noted that it was not only a crime against humanity, but a crime against civilization. At the end of the ceremony, Armenian spiritual music was presented.
On the same day, a photo-exhibition of the Armenian medieval churches organized by the Embassy together with “Armenpress” news agency was opened in the area of the Curia, which will last for a month.
In the Šiauliai cathedral, as well as on the same day, at the sanctuary of the Hill of Crosses, spiritual pastor of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the Baltic states, Fr. Khosrov Stepanyan, made a prayer.