The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle comprises Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who have been honored for their outstanding service to The Orthodox Church by having a Patriarchal title, or "offikion," bestowed upon them by His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Those upon whom this title of the Mother Church has been conferred are known as "Archons of the Great Church of Christ," and the titles are personally conferred by the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in America, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios. The Order of St. Andrew's fundamental goal and mission is to promote the religious freedom, well-being and advancement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which is headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today solemnly marks the 100 year anniversary of the tragic killing of over one million Armenians in what is now modern-day Turkey. USCIRF recognizes the profound significance of this day and the deep wounds it continues to evoke for the Armenian people, and the other religious and ethnic communities who were victims of the horrible events of 1915.
USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government advisory commission that issues reports, recommendations, and statements independent of the executive branch.
“During World War I, in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish forces motivated by extreme nationalist fervor systematically killed and deported Armenians, Greek Orthodox Christians, Assyrian Christians, and others,” said USCIRF Vice Chair, James J. Zogby.
Historians, religious leaders, and many governments recognize that well over one million people were killed or died. Most recently, during a Sunday mass commemorating the anniversary, Pope Francis said that the 1915 events were “the first genocide of the 20th century.”