EDITORIAL: HRH Prince Charles Visits St. Yeghiche Church

Wednesday 19th November saw the visit of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to the Church of St. Yeghiche, South Kensington, London. The occasion was highly anticipated by members of the Armenian community, with this being the first instance that a member of the Royal family had officially addressed the Armenians of London and the U.K.

After a short church service, notable guests such as Avak Asadourian, the Archbishop of Iraq, spoke to those in attendance with words of grave concern over Christians in Iraq and the Middle East. “Due to assaults, Iraqi Christians are leaving the country of their forefathers. In 1980 there were 1.5 million, this is now down to 400,000 due to the encroachments of ISIS” the Archbishop said, followed by his warning that “if political measures are not adopted very soon, then in the Middle East, Christian manifestation will cease to exist in its own birthplace”.

This was followed by His Royal Highness Prince Charles speaking with great sorrow and regret with regards to what had happened to Christians and Armenians in the Middle East. The Prince said, “For some time now I have been troubled by the appalling atrocities faced by Christians suffering in the Middle East… It is the most soul destroying tragedy.” The Prince also voiced his dismay at attacks on the Armenian population in the Middle East, particularly in Syria; by saying “It is heart-breaking to learn of the attacks on Christians and Churches where they gather, such as the Church in Deir el Zour earlier this year.”

The visit was well received by those who had attended, and as His Royal Highness was leaving, Prince Charles shook the hands of and spoke to prominent members of the congregation expressing his usual calming demeanour.

We welcome this visit and are hopeful of many more visits in the future from His Royal Highness, and we encourage the support and unity he has shown for those who should not be forgotten and are, to this day, persecuted for their beliefs and culture.

— Hagop Krikorian

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