Pope Francis says Ottoman mass murder of Armenians is genocide

Vatican, SANA – Pope Francis stressed Sunday that the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman rule 100 years ago amounted to “genocide”.

Speaking at a Vatican church service in Rome, Pope Francis said the Ottoman Turks’ crimes against the Armenian people were “widely considered ‘the first genocide of the 20th century’.”

He was citing a statement signed by John Paul II and the Armenian patriarch in 2000 which mentioned three other “massive and unprecedented tragedies” that were committed in the past century.

This was the first time the Pope has used the term “genocide” to describe the bloody massacres in which up to 1.5 million Armenian people were systematically killed by Ottoman forces in 1915, while millions of others were displaced.

Haifa Said

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