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Archbishop Vicken Aykazian Visits South Florida

Arsine Kaloustian
FLArmenians Editor

Last month, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Diocesan Legate of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern Diocese) visited South Florida and met with members of the Armenian American community. Archbishop Aykazian was welcomed by Florida Armenians Founder Taniel Shant, Florida Armenians Editor Arsine Kaloustian, and local community members Hagop and Arlys Koushakjian.

“Florida Armenians are honored to welcome Archbishop Aykazian to Boca Raton,” stated Taniel Shant.

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Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Taniel Shant, Arsine Kaloustian, Arlys Koushakjian, Hagop Koushakjian

On Sunday, October 24, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian celebrated the Holy Badarak service at St. David Armenian Church of Boca Raton, FL. He also consecrated and unveiled the “Tree of Life” mural which can now be viewed in the lobby of St. David Armenian Church.

tree-of-life-mural

(Copyright St. David Armenian Church)

Archbishop Aykazian will return to South Florida on Sunday, December 11, to celebrate the 18th Anniversary of St. Mary Armenian Church of Hollywood, FL. A special luncheon will follow Holy Badarak service. More information on the St. Mary luncheon will be released shortly.

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Guest Writer/Contributor & Research Assistant Opportunity

Florida Armenians is seeking applicants for the Guest Writer/Contributor & Research Assistant position for the summer. The guest writer/contributor should have a passion for writing and the position is flexible to any field relative to both Armenian-Americans and the State of Florida; culture, religion, business, politics, sports, music, events, etc. The research assistant candidate should demonstrate a strong understanding of the value of information, be able to navigate and identify local and national press, blogs, and think-tanks. Use of social media is a plus. Applicants should demonstrate strong writing skills, understanding of current events, and be well organized. This is not a paid position. Florida Armenians, LLC is an equal opportunity  employer. Interested  applicants should send a resume and short writing sample to flarmenians@gmail.com with the position title in the subject line.

 

House of Representatives Urges Turkey to Safeguard Christian Heritage, Return Confiscated Church Properties

House of Representatives Urges Turkey to Safeguard Christian Heritage, Return Confiscated Church Properties

Florida Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Gus Bilirakis Cosponsor H. Res. 306

Washington, DC – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted by voice vote H. Res. 306, legislation calling on the Republic of Turkey to protect its Christian heritage and return confiscated church properties. Introduced by Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), H. Res. 306 was cosponsored by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), both members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.

“This bipartisan bill reflects America’s values and represents an important step towards preserving the heritage of the Armenian community and other minority communities within Turkey,” stated the Legate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church, Archbishop Vicken Aykazian in Washington, DC.

As amended, H. Res. 306 calls on Turkey to “end all forms of religious discrimination” and return confiscated church properties and artifacts. The revised bill mirrors the Berman-Cicilline amendment that was adopted by the House Foreign Affairs Committee by a vote of 43-1 earlier this year.

“It has been my privilege to be a strong voice for oppressed religious minorities throughout the world,” Congressman Bilirakis said. “I am pleased that my colleagues once again sent a strong message in support of religious freedom in a manner that transcends party politics by unanimously condemning Turkey for failing to safeguard its Christian heritage or return confiscated church properties,” stated Bilirakis.

In addition to resolution sponsor Congressman Royce, who along with his colleagues invoked the memory of the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s continued genocide denial, the following Representatives spoke in favor of the legislation: Howard Berman (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ).  Turkish Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Edward Whitfield (R-KY) claimed time in opposition to the bill.

You can watch the debate on the bill here.