Lake Forest, Ill. – April 2, 2015 – The Armenian Genocide: One of the worst atrocities in history—second only to the Holocaust in death toll—is coming up on its 100th anniversary. Yet despite the estimated 1.5 million lives lost in the systematic extermination of Armenians, this terrible time has been a footnote in history books.
Even the United States Congress did not approve a resolution commemorating the Armenian Genocide until April 10, 2014—99 years later. To date only 21 countries, including the U.S., recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Last year, First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest’s senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Christine Chakoian, was a key advocate for a resolution honoring the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the 2014 meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Detroit. The General Assembly unanimously endorsed the resolution—the first of its kind to be adopted by a major American church body—that:
- urges member congregations to recognize the Armenian genocide;
- designates April 24 as the day of remembrance for the victims of the first genocide of the 20th century; and
- honors the provisions of American and international law to prevent the recurrence of similar mass killings, atrocities and population removals and bringing the perpetrators of any such crimes to justice.
“I pray that as American Christians recognize the Armenian genocide, it will engender a deeper understanding of and compassion for the heavy price our forebears paid for their faith,” Rev. Dr. Chakoian says. “I also hope that this remembrance will prompt us as American Christians to be aware of those who are suffering gross injustices around the world.”
As the commemoration of the 100th anniversary draws near, First Presbyterian is proud to invite the community to a Lunch & Learn on April 10 at the church, 700 N Sheridan Road in Lake Forest, where Rev. Dr. Chaokian, who is of Armenian descent, will share her personal story, experience and knowledge of the genocide and the world’s response to it.
There is a $5 fee to cover the cost of food. For more information and to register, go to www.firstchurchlf.org. For media inquiries, contact Jorina Fontelera at (847) 234-6250.
About First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest
Our mission at First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest is to send inspired and well-equipped followers of Jesus into the world, loving and serving God in their daily lives. We invite you to join us in these resilient Christian practices: worship, learn, connect, serve and invite. Find out more about our worship services, study groups, mission outreach and fellowship opportunities by visiting our website at www.firstchurchlf.org or calling us at (847) 234-6250.