WASHINGTON—Eastern Prelate Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan called on Members of Congress to speak with unstinting resolve about the Armenian Genocide and to work to end the ongoing genocide in Darfur, during a full day of 16 Capitol Hill meetings following the April 22 Congressional Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
The Archbishop’s meetings included discussions with Senate and House members from traditional Armenian American communities in New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Rhode Island, as well as those from growing communities in Minnesota, Ohio, Maine, Virginia and Indiana. Among the legislators he met with were: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Republican Conference Chair Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Rep. Zack Space (D-OH), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI).
Archbishop Choloyan was joined in his Congressional visits by Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian, Pastor of the Soorp Khatch Armenian Apostolic Church in Bethesda, MD; ANCA National Board Member Ari Killian, and ANCA Legislative Affairs Director Raffi Karakashian.
On April 22, Archbishop Choloyan joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and over 20 Members of Congress at the Capitol Hill commemoration of the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, organized by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues. During his moving invocation, Archbishop Choloyan stated “Ninety-four years ago we witnessed the very worst of humankind’s capacity for evil. Today we stand before you and reaffirm our pledge to give voice to all victims of genocide and tyranny and we rededicate ourselves to the struggle for truth and justice.”