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On 23 October 2015, an international conference on ‘Genocide as a moral-psychological crime against humanity’ opened at the Moscow church complex of the Novo-Nakhichevan and Russia diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The conference is timed to the centennial of the Armenian genocide. Attending the conference are the renowned scholars of different nationalities from Russia, France, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Greece, Germany, Denmark, the United States of America and Armenia.

The conference is sponsored by the Centre of Armenian Studies for the Novo-Nakhichevan and Russia diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.

Before the session, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, met with the head of the diocese, Archbishop Ezras Nersisian, at his resident. They discussed relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Archbishop Nersesian welcome the participants at the opening session and read out a message of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II who underscored that genocide was a crime without a period of limitation.

Metropolitan Hilarion noted in his address to the participants that ‘the 20th century had to experience dozens of revolutions, wars and deadly epidemics, fascism and the Holocaust, repressions, nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, genocidal mass slaughter of people in Cambodia and Rwanda. There colossal upheavals began with the tragedy of 1915, but the humanity has left this lesson unlearned.

‘History repeats itself in the 21st century. Again we see horrible crimes against the entire nations, the real humanitarian disaster in certain countries of the Middle East and Africa. Like one hundred years ago, our brothers and sisters are persecuted because they remain faithful to Christ. Terrorists who call the name of Allah, but are the Satan’s servants, desecrate churches and holy sites, destroy houses and cities and shed blood of the innocent people.

‘The Russian Orthodox Church empathizes with her suffering brothers as she has always taken to heart the grief of the Armenian people… We appreciate traditions of our friendship and are happy to continue cooperation between our Churches, countries and people.’