St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral (photo: Yerevantsi, Wikimedia, 2016)

Eastern Diocese Hit with Financial Woes during Pandemic

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NEW YORK – The Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It appears to be the first of the major institutions of the Armenian-American community to implement temporary furloughs of staff, along with salary reductions.

On Friday, April 24, already an inauspicious day for Armenians, the leadership of the Diocese, including clergy, delegates and parish council chairs, was notified that the Primate and Diocesan Council decided to make salary reductions across the board, beginning with the Primate and including part-time employees, while placing a number of employees on temporary furloughs.

Those furloughed include staff who have served for many decades and now are forced to seek unemployment.

Fr. Krikor Sabounjian, Diocesan Council chairman, wrote that suspending operations in New York due to COVID-19 resulted in a significant reduction of revenue. The Diocese took action, he said, to avoid permanent layoffs and maintain financial stability, and would continue to evaluate the situation and take all necessary steps to serve the needs of the parishes and faithful.

The Mirror has contacted Diocesan officials and will present a follow-up article next week.

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