On October 7, at the amphitheater of the Colosseum in Rome (Italy), His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, participated in the annual traditional peace prayer organized by the community of Sant’Egidio, which was attended by the Heads of the Sister Churches, leaders and officials from different countries. During the inter-church prayer for peace, His Holiness conveyed his message to those present.
“The gift of peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he left to his disciples about two thousand years ago, is given to us today to distribute to Christians in the twenty-first century, to all people, especially in these days of violence, war, ethnic discrimination, and religious extremism,” His Holiness said.
His Holiness referred to the catastrophic aftermath of the 44-day war. “We come from a country where the Christian testimony has been concentrated in every stone and grain of history through the omnipotent hand of the Almighty,” the Catholicos said.
“My Armenian nation knows well the price of peace that it has paid and continues to pay. Last year, our people crossed the Path of the Cross again. To protect the right to live freely and independently, the right to God-given peaceful life, the children of my nation suffered the horrors of the 44-day war unleashed by Azerbaijan with the help of Turkey and the involvement of terrorist groups,” the Catholicos said.
The Patriarch of All Armenians thanked the Sister Churches for condemning the injustice and genocide during the war and expressed confidence that they would continue to speak out against the seizure of the right of the Armenians of Artsakh to live independently, and for the sake of freedom of the captives, for the preservation of the Armenian religious and cultural heritage on Armenian lands currently under Azerbaijani control, for the re-establishment of lasting peace in the region.
Messages from religious and church leaders were heard during the ceremony. At the end, after the message of Pope Francis, those present observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims of all the wars, then the children conveyed the message of peace to the participants.