The Archbishop of Canterbury has told Christians in Armenia of his support and prayers during his visit to the nation.
Most Rev Justin Welby is currently on a five-day trip to the South Caucasus region with the intention of understanding how the Church of England and the Anglican Communion can help promote peace in the region.
Upon his arrival in Armenia, Archbishop Justin paid a visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial and met with His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. In their meeting, the Archbishop expressed his daily prayers for the Armenian people.
He said: “Armenia was the first Christian kingdom. You were the first region to have the cross as your symbol. This is a symbol of weight, pain and struggle. Armenia has often carried the cross of pain and struggle. The last weeks have seen so many Armenians suffer deeply. I have been praying for you daily. I come here to say you are not forgotten.”
On Friday, Archbishop Justin will meet with refugees from Nagorno Karabakh and visit Church projects that provide support to those displaced by conflict.
Archbishop Welby's visit to the South Caucasus began in Azerbaijan, where he discussed peace and reconciliation with political leaders. He also spoke of the need for the resumption of negotiations to secure a lasting settlement between Azerbaijan and Armenia that recognises the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries.
In Georgia, he met with the Prime Minister and visited places of worship, including a multi-faith Peace Cathedral. He showed support for Ukrainian refugees and learned about the challenges faced by people living near the border with South Ossetia.
The Archbishop's regional visit will conclude on Friday.