Egypt's Pope Tawadros prays for Armenian genocide victims in Lebanon visit

Ahram Online , Sunday 19 Jul 2015

The pope also prepared the holy Chrism along with the Armenian Catholicos Aram I

Coptic Pope Tawadros II, head of Coptic Orthodox church, gestures during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, April 25, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II prayed on Sunday in Lebanon's Armenian Orthodox Church for the slain victims of the Armenian Massacre at the hand of the Ottoman Empire.

The pope also prepared the holy Chrism, an anointing mixture of virgin olive oil and other herbs that date back to biblical times, along with the Armenian Catholicos Aram I.

The pope landed in Lebanon on Friday and is scheduled to return home by midweek, Coptic Orthodox Church Spokesman Fr. Boulas Halim told Ahram Online.

Pope Tawadros' visit included a meeting with the Copts of the Levant.

This is the second time Tawadros prepared the holy Chrism since his ordination in November 2012. The first time was in April 2014 at St. Pishoy Monastery.

Last April, Tawadros flew to Armenia to participate in the hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide in the capital Yerevan.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1917 during the final days of the Ottoman Empire. Armenians have long tried to secure international recognition of the massacres as genocide.

Turkey, born from the remains of the Ottoman Empire, has vehemently denied a systematic mass killing of Armenians. Both countries have no diplomatic ties over the issue.

At the time, Tawadros said his visit represents pure religious support from the Coptic Church to its brotherly Armenian Orthodox church and is not political.

Relations between Cairo and Ankara have soured since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, who was a close ally of Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan.


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