WATERTOWN — In the wake of the surrender of the government of Artsakh to a massive military assault by Azerbaijan, greater Boston-area Armenians attended a community-wide prayer and gathering for Artsakh, organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), on Friday, September 22, at St. Stephen’s Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, both in Watertown.
Very Rev. Mesrop Parsamyan, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, presided over the event and delivered the homily. Attending were the combined clergy of the Armenian Churches of Greater Boston.
Parishioners and friends filled the church to hear about the tragic events that took place in Artsakh after a nearly yearlong blockade of the 120,000 Armenian residents, and understand what the near future would hold.
After a solemn mass, Parsamyan delivered a heart-rending homily about the situation in Artsakh, but offered hope because Armenians had suffered and survived before and would do so once again, he said. He implored that people not fall into despair but face the upcoming challenges because the people of Artsakh will need support more than ever before. He said, “We are a small nation but are strong. We are fighting against empires and the world and must continue to fight for justice and independence for of Armenia and Artsakh.”
Later, at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Sadarapat Gomideh, Dr. Ara Nazarian, led the presentations to a full auditorium. Dr. Nyree Derderian JD/PhD, international chair of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) spoke about the organization’s social service and health centers in Artsakh and the humanitarian work they have been doing throughout the years and what the loss of facilities and service would mean to the residents as Azerbaijan takes over Stepanakert and the rest of Artsakh.
Other speakers via Zoom included Aram Hamparian of the Armenian National Committee of America, Yeghia Tashjian a political Analyst from Lebanon, and Greg Demerchian, JD/PhD, of the Armenian Bar Association.