Document date: 15.05.2009
Congratulations to Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern) and President of the NCCUSA

Geneva, 15 May 2009 

Your Eminence, dear Archbishop Vicken,

Christ is risen!

In this joyful Easter season, we were even more delighted to learn that you were awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honour, a distinction recognizing the contribution of ethnic groups to America's diversity.

We are very proud indeed that this recognition is attributed to a member of the Central and Executive Committees of the World Council of Churches, a hierarch of the Supreme Catholicosate of all Armenians in Etchmiadzin known for his long-standing and genuine commitment to the ecumenical movement as a whole, a friend and companion for many years in our long and sometimes difficult journey towards unity and reconciliation.

Our most sincere congratulations! This is recognition of your personal commitment to the ideals of pluralism and democracy in the society, peace and reconciliation among peoples, churches’ unity and common witness. At the same time, it is a great honour to your people and to your church, the Armenian Orthodox Church, known for her readiness to be one of the most constructive elements in all societies that have hosted her people, dispersed around the world as a consequence of her painful history including the tragic experience of genocide.

May God bless your ministry!

In friendship,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General secretary of the World Council of Churches