The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, under the direction of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, launched “Artsakh Outreach.” This program is designed to provide relief for the tens of thousands of displaced Armenians who have fled to safety in Armenia and are in dire need of financial, spiritual, medical and psychological support.
This very important outreach project of the Armenian Church will be implemented through the Social Services Department of the Mother See and with the participation of all Armenian Church dioceses throughout the world. His Holiness Karekin II appointed a committee of bishops and lay leaders of the Armenian Church from Armenia and the diaspora to coordinate and supervise this important mission. The committee is chaired by H. Em. Archbp. Khajag Barsamian, Pontifical Legate of the Western Europe and the Representative of the Armenian Church to the Holy See (Vatican).
During a Zoom conference meeting of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin “Artsakh Outreach” committee on Saturday, 12 December, H.H. Karekin Catholicos conveyed his fatherly blessing and appreciation to the members of the committee for undertaking this important task of outreach to our brothers and sisters from Artsakh who need our care and support at this time. His Holiness also touched on the serious challenges Armenia and Artsakh are facing today and emphasized that in the current conditions, the Armenian Church must do everything necessary to provide maximum support to our homeland and people. It is the mission of the Church to reach out to those who are in need as St. John in his First Letter 3:16-17 “we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?”.
During the meeting, the committee members decided to focus first on supporting displaced families from Artsakh residing in Armenia and then will work on assisting those who have returned to Artsakh. Through established and very strict protocols the beneficiaries will be identified by the Dioceses in Armenia with the support of the Social Service Department of the Mother See. The committee members also stressed importance of transparency in this program, and plan to provide detailed reports of the program’s activities and finances. The dioceses in the diaspora will be responsible for organizing fundraising activities and encouraging all Armenians and friends of Armenians to support these families during the winter months.