Christian advocates praised President Joe Biden for officially recognizing the Armenian genocide over the weekend.
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” Biden stated on Saturday, April 24, Armenian Remembrance Day.
Biden’s historic statement marked the first official recognition of the genocide by a U.S. president, and the first time since Reagan that a sitting president referred to the genocide by name.
Turkey, which has long denied that a genocide took place, criticized the statement. A spokesman for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday called the statement “simply outrageous,” Reuters reported.
Advocates for religious freedom praised Biden’s statement, however.
Toufic Baaklini, president of the group In Defense of Christians (IDC), stated on Saturday that “IDC sends its deepest thanks and congratulations to President Biden on becoming the first president in U.S. history to recognize the Armenian Christian Genocide.”
“While we hope that this brings some solace and consolation to Armenians around the world who have fought for this day, we also hope that it will portend greater reflection and a renewed commitment to speak up and stand against the perpetration of crimes against humanity everywhere,” stated Tony Perkins, vice-chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), on Saturday.
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