(ANCC) OTTAWA – September 25, 2014 –Today the Liberal Party of Canada expressed outrage at the news of the destruction of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church by ISIL fighters. The church, located in Eastern Syria, was dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide and contained the remains of many its victims.
“ISIL’s destruction of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church is utterly deplorable,” said Liberal Foreign Affairs critic Marc Garneau. “In addition to this latest crime, ISIL has destroyed many other churches, mosques, shrines and culturally significant sites. These are holy sites that had been protected – in many cases for centuries – by adherents of many different faiths. ISIL continues to show that they have no respect for international norms or for cultures and religions different than their own narrow, twisted ideology.”
“The loss of this site will not only be felt by the Armenian people but by the entire world,” said Liberal Critic for Multiculturalism Hon. John McCallum. “It is shameful that ISIL would target a site that was dedicated to remembrance and reconciliation.”
The Armenian Genocide Memorial Church was a focal point for the remembrance of the Armenian Genocide. Located in the Deir ez-zor region, which is the final resting place of hundreds of thousands of the approximately 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, the church received pilgrims from around the world and held commemoration ceremonies every year on April 24th that were attended by thousands of people.
“The Liberal Party stands in solidarity with the Armenian people and condemns this horrid attack on this holy site,” said Liberal MP Arnold Chan. “The world has been shocked by the continuing brutality of ISIL and this is just the latest in the long list of shocking horrors committed by this group.”