Category Archives: AMAA

Fidelity to the Mission of Renewal

By Hratch Tchilingirian*

One of the most impressive characteristics of the Armenian Evangelical Church is the fact that, despite being small in numbers among Armenians worldwide, this 175-year-old church is one of the most active, visible and organized institutions in the Armenian world. Today, the mission, value and legitimacy of the Armenian Evangelical Church is indisputable, even as there had been periodic conflicts with the Armenian Apostolic Church in the past and after Armenia’s independence.

Throughout their history and ministry, the Armenian Evangelicals have shown fidelity to the original mission of the church: the spiritual renewal of Armenians, the “Christian renaissance”of the Armenian nation. It is not a coincidence that the Armenian Protestant Church was established in the 19th century during the Armenian “intellectual renaissance”in the Ottoman Empire. Historians agree that a separate Armenian Protestant denomination was “imported”and “implanted”by European and United States missionaries but are divided over the causes and effects of events which led to the establishment of a separate church movement.

Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian

As Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian, a minister and prolific author of many books, describes, “submission to Christ’s commandments is utmost priority for the members of the Armenian Evangelical Church.” The preaching of the Gospel and complete commitment to Christ have been visible and indispensable aspects of the Armenian Evangelical Church. Yet, upholding Armenian religious, cultural and patriotic traditions in community life and pursuing the rights of the Armenian people have been equally important.

The “national mission”of the Armenian Evangelical Church was described most profoundly by the late Rev. Dr. Movses Janbazian, a charismatic leader, at the first Armenia-Diaspora Conference in September 1999. During his official address as representative of the worldwide Armenian Evangelicals, Rev. Janbazian communicated the Evangelical community’s wish and support for Karabakh’s liberation and independence, for the defense and security of Armenia, for the creation of conditions for political stability and a democratic system of government in Armenia, for a strong Armenian economy, for reform and modernity in Armenia’s educational system and for Armenian Genocide recognition by a greater number of nations and international bodies. At this unprecedented national gathering, rather than a narrow denominational understanding, Rev. Janbazian gave a wider, ecumenical definition to the mission of the Armenian nation. “In 301 AD, our forebears made a covenant with Jesus Christ. If we fulfill our commitment to that covenant, then God will abundantly bless our small but precious nation, and He will make our nation a source of blessings not only to its sons and daughters, but also to its neighboring peoples and to all humanity. We believe this is our nation’s reason for being; this is our people’s mission in the world; and this is the God-ordained destiny of our Haigazian [Armenian] race.”

Rev. Dr. Movses Janbazian speaking at the first Armenia-Diaspora Conference, 1999

Among the many contributions to Armenian life, two main areas of great impact stand out: education and Christian charity. While Christian education is part of the church’s core mission, the Armenian Evangelical Church is well known for its network of high quality public schools throughout the Armenian world. They have been among the pioneers of education in post-Genocide Armenian communities, especially in the Middle East. The establishment and support of schools is part of the Armenian Evangelical “culture.” The Evangelical schools are not only well known for the quality of curriculum, teaching staff and administration, but for the values and moral fortitude they instil in the students. The fact that most of their students come from non-Evangelical families is a testament to their success

Jenanian Apostolic Institute
Konya, Turkey.

The crown-jewel of the Armenian Evangelical Church’s commitment to education is the founding of Haigazian College (later University) in Beirut in 1955. It remains the only Armenian institution of higher education in the Diaspora and is accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education of Lebanon. It is a member of the Association of International Colleges and Universities and offers over 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Historically significant, the University is named after Yale University graduate Dr. Armenag Haigazian (1879-1921), former Principal of the Jenanian Apostolic Institute in Konya, Turkey. A respected educator and community leader, during the Genocide, Haigazian died on the road to exile in Kharpert. His family in the United States donated seed money for the establishment of the school.

Perhaps the secret of the success of the Armenian Evangelical Church is its decentralized nature and the fact that it does not have a hierarchy. Unlike the Apostolic and the Catholic Churches, the Evangelicals do not have a supreme head or central headquarters. The more liberal, consensual and accommodating organizational model of the Armenian Evangelicals gives them an advantage to operate effectively in the globalized 21st century. Arguably, the Armenian Evangelical Church seems to be ahead of all other Armenian organizations: organizationally decentralized but unified in mission. This is in contrast to other religious, political and civic organizations with very strong chains of command.

It is only in recent decades that the AMAA, the mission arm of the church, has become the de facto “center”of the church, not through “election”but by acclaim and in recognition of its work on behalf of the Evangelical community. The AMAA’s mission focuses on charity, education, financial assistance and “the spiritual growth and development of the Armenian people.”Since the 1988 earthquake and especially since Armenia’s independence, the bulk of the AMAA’s resources and contributions have gone to Armenia and Artsakh, where they have established permanent offices. Many times, the AMAA and its affiliates have punched above their weight and provided enormous amounts of assistance that belie their small size and capacities.

During the last nearly two centuries, the relations of the Evangelical Armenians with the “Mother Church,”the Armenian Apostolic Church, have not always been smooth. But the late Catholicos Karekin I (Sarkissian) of All Armenians, at the 150th Anniversary celebrations in Yerevan, praised the ministry of the Evangelicals in the life of the Armenian nation and “prayed for the Armenian Evangelicals to become stronger and spread their spiritual values among [the] nation, together with the Armenian Apostolic Church.”

Commitment to the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith, commitment to education and the well being of the Armenian nation, and commitment to doing charity work where needed are defining values of the Armenian Evangelical Church. “When every criticism has been made, and every allowance recorded for the imperfection of the Armenian Evangelical Church,”wrote Rev. Tootikian, “the fact remains that she worked her way into many corners of the life of the Armenian Nation. Obvious faults and weaknesses must not hide the deeper significance of the Evangelical Movement, because measured by its effects, it proved itself a potent force among the Armenian people.”

The clear mission and vision set 175 years ago will, no doubt, continue for many generations to come. The Armenian Evangelicals are small in size but significant in their impact.

*Dr. Hratch Tchilingirian is an Associate Faculty Member of Oriental Studies at University of Oxford.

Easter Message From the Armenian Evangelical World Council

✝️ Easter: A Celebration of Victory and Hope

“He is not here; He has risen just as He said” 

-Matthew 28:6
Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian 
Executive Director, Armenian Evangelical World Council

Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the foundation of Christian faith. It confirms the Christian belief that God was in Christ, because on Easter we see the power of God restoring life to Jesus. It affirms the Christian faith that Jesus, who died on the Cross, was raised from the dead and is living forever. 

Easter, however, is not only a remembrance of what happened twenty centuries ago, but a celebration that in every present instant there is triumphant victory available. Since death cannot stamp out and erase spiritual values, since God has the last word, there is hope for all who are on God’s side. And because God can be trusted both in life and in death, there is hope for those who are fighting hard battles and are carrying heavy burdens.  

The past year has been a difficult period of time for the world population because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Likewise, it has been a very difficult time for the Armenian people in general, and for the people of Armenia and Artsakh in particular. The tragic events during the past few months have disrupted their lives. The loss of thousands of Armenians during the 44-day war that Azerbaijan, Turkey and its hired terrorists waged against Artsakh and Armenia has been a great disaster. The loss of a large part of Artsakh to Azerbaijan was another calamity. The lingering political crisis and turmoil in Armenia, in addition to the ravaging effects of Corona pandemic, have created a gloomy mood among many Armenian. 

In view of all these, people may ask, How do we find a rhyme and reason in all of these?” “How do we celebrate Easter? Yes, we should and we must celebrate Easter, because God Omnipotent is still on His Throne. He is our loving Heavenly Father. Christ our victorious Savior, Who tells us that He is with us in all circumstances of life. He is with us when our plans are disrupted and dreams are shattered. He is with us when we sustain loss, and even when we lose loved ones and start wondering where do we go from here?  

We walk so many roads of life, some filled with joy and some filled with grief and disappointments. Easter tells us that we can travel the roads of life in companionship with the loving Christ, Who told His followers “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). 

Easter faith tells us that we can keep walking confidently when the going is tough, we can keep hoping in the midst of despair, we can keep on living triumphantly in the midst of challenges, and we can keep declaring, “Christ is Risen! Blessed is the Resurrection of the Lord. Kristos Haryav Ee Merelots; Orhnyal eh Haroutunen Kristosi!” 

Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian 
Executive Director, Armenian Evangelical World Council

Հայ Աւետարանական Համաշխարհային Խորհուրդի Զատկուայ պատգամը

Զատիկ՝ Տօն Յաղթութեան եւ Յոյսի

«Հոս չէ Ան, որովհետեւ յարութիւն առաւ, ինչպէս ըսած էր» (Մատթ. 28.6)

Ս. Զատիկը Քրիստոսի հրաշափառ յարութեան տօնն է:   Քրիստոնեայ եկեղեցին 20 դարերէ ի վեր կը տօնէ այս տօնը իբրեւ յաղթանակի եւ յոյսի տօն հետեւեալ առումով.-

Առաջին, Ս. Զատիկը յաղթութեան տօն է: Յիսուսի յարութիւնը կը հաստատէ, թէ մահը, որ այս աշխարհի ամենէն ստոյգ, անհերքելի եւ սակմռկեցուցիչ իրողութիւնն է՝ պարտուած է: Քրիստոսի յարութիւնը կու գայ վկայելու, թէ մարդուն մարմինը կրնայ մեռնիլ, բայց անոր հոգին անմահ է: Այս մարմնաւոր գոյութենէն վերջ՝ կայ անդրշիրիմեան կեանք մը:

Ս. Զատիկը կու գայ վկայելու, թէ Քրիստոս իր յաղթական Յարութեամբ փշեց գերեզմանի շղթաները եւ նուաճեց մարդ էակի անագորոյն թշնամին՝ մահը: Այսպէսով ան բացաւ լուսաւոր եւ յաւիտենական կեանքի մը արշալոյսը մեղաւոր եւ յուսահատ մարդկութեան առջեւ, որպէս զի ան որ իրեն հաւատայ չկորսուի, այլ յաւիտենական կեանք ունենայ:

Քրիստոսի յարութիւնը ոչ միայն հանդերձեալ կեանքի յոյսը կ’ընծայէ, այլ նաեւ ամէնօրեայ յաղթական կեանք ապրելու ներշնչումը կը շնորհէ: Մարդկային կեանքը պայքար մըն է ֆիզիքական, իմացական, բարոյական եւ հոգեւոր առումով: Այս պայքարին մէջ երբեմն չարին զօրութիւնը վհատութեան կը մատնէ մեզ, բայց եթէ մեր ճակատագիրը կապած ենք Յարուցեալ Քրիստոսի՝ Ան մեզ կը զօրացնէ դիմագրաւելու ամէն տեսակի դժուարութիւններ, փորձութիւններ ու նեղութիւններ եւ ի վերջոյ զանոնք յաղթահարելու կարողութիւնը կը շնորհէ մեզի:

Երկրորդ, Ս. Զատիկը նաեւ տօն է յոյսի: Յոյսը աստուածատուր շնորհք մըն է, առանց որուն մարդ արարածը կը կորսնցնէ իր ապրելու, գոյատեւելու եւ ստեղծագործելու ներքին մղիչ ուժը: Քրիստոնեայ մարդուն յոյսը խարսխուած է այն ներքին համոզումին վրայ, թէ Աստուած իր ապաւէնն ու զօրութիւնն է, թէ Քրիստոս իր Տէրն ու պաշտպանն է: Ան է որ խրախուսեց իր հետեւորդները ըսելով, «Մի’ զարհուրիք եւ մի’ վհատիք, որովհէտեւ միշտ ձեզի հետ եմ» (Մատթ. 28.30):

Անցնող տարին տագնապալի տարի մը եղաւ համայն աշխարհի համար՝ Պսակաձեւ ժահրին պատճառով: Շատ աւելի տագնապալի ժամանակաշրջան մը եղաւ նաեւ հայ ժողովուրդին համար ընդհանրապէս, եւ Արցախի եւ մեր հայրեբնակ ժողովուրդին համար մասնաւորապէս: Արցախի եւ Հայաստանի դէմ մղուած 44-օրեայ պատերազմը Ատրպէյճանի, Թուրքիոյ եւ իր վարձկան ահաբեկիչներուն կողմէ՝ հազարաւոր հայ մարդոց կեանքը խլեց, Արցախի հողամասին մէկ կարեւոր մասը թշնամիին կողմէ գրաւուեցաւ, հազարաւոր տուներ քանդուեցան, բազմաթիւ ընտանիքներու անդամները այրիացան եւ մանուկները որբացան: Ամիսներէ ի վեր Հայոց Աշխարհը քաղաքական տագնապի մէջ է: Ապագան չափազանց անստոյգ եւ անկայուն է:

Ի տէս այս ամենուն, արդեօք կարելի՞ է Զատիկ տօնել: Արդեօք Ս. Յարութեան տօնը մեզի պատգամ մը ունի՞ հաղորդելիք: Այո’, որոշապէս: Ս. Զատկուան մշտանորոգ պատգամը միեւնոյնն է միշտ, երէկ, այսօր եւ յաւիտեան, թէ Աստուած տակաւին Իր Գահին վրայ կ’իշխէ, Քրիստոս յաւէտ յաղթական Տէր է, փոյթ չէ թէ չարը աշխատի խափանել բարին, փոյթ չէ թէ ճշմարտութիւնը, արդարութիւնը եւ սէրը խաչուին ու թաղուին, անոնք անպայման յարութիւն պիտի առնեն: Վերջին խօսքը Յարուցեալ եւ Յաղթական Տէր Յիսուս Քրիստոսինն է:

Արդ, հաւատքով, յոյսով եւ յաղթական ոգիով ամրացած՝ տօնենք Զատիկը եւ լիաթոք յայտարարենք ամենուն, «Քրիստոս Յարեաւ ի Մեռելոց, օրհնեալ է Յարութիւնն Քրիստոսի»:

Վեր. Դոկտ. Վահան Յ. Թութիկեան, Գործադիր 
Տնօրէն Հայ Աւետ. Համաշխարհային Խորհուրդի

Artsakh in My Heart: AMAA’s Vision for Artsakh

By Rev. Dr. René Léonian, AMAA Representative in Eurasia

Since its founding in 1918, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) has always aimed to be vital to the Armenian people. It is in a Christian spirit, and in the name of love of neighbor, that the AMAA has organized its programs.

The essence of AMAA’s work is summed up in its support to churches, its Christian education, humanitarian, educational, cultural and development programs.

After the devastating earthquake in Armenia on December 7, 1988, the AMAA’s Board of Directors, under the leadership of its Executive Director Rev. Movses Janbazian decided to invest heavily in Armenia and come to the aid of families in the disaster areas. From the early years of AMAA’s involvement in Armenia, the Association partnered with Espoir pour l’Armenie – Hope for Armenia of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of France. At the time, the official authorities of Soviet Armenia praised AMAA’s mission and service in the Homeland.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony of the AMAA Center in Stepanakert, Artsakh in 1998, with Artsakh Republic Minister of Foreign Affairs Naira Melkumyan, AMAA Executive Director Rev. Dr. Movses Janbazian, AMA-AUS President Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, AMAA Field Director Hagop Manjelikian, local/overseas guests, and Armenian Church representatives.

On September 10, 1991, the AMAA was officially registered in Armenia to work in two directions (cf. official registration text):

– “To help the Armenian people in spiritual, religious, educational programs and publications.

– through humanitarian programs.”

On September 21, 1991, Armenia became independent and immediately afterwards the AMAA established its permanent headquarters in Yerevan (with “Hope for Armenia”).

In the fall of 1994, I had the privilege to be the Representative of the Armenian Evangelical World Council and the AMAA. The AMAA’s services were originally focused on the earthquake zone, then gradually it spread to the whole Armenian territory. From time to time, sporadic actions were carried out in Artsakh.

After a few years, the AMAA decided not to neglect Artsakh. Thus, in 1995, the leadership of the AMAA in the United States and the leadership of AMAA in Armenia, decided to set up a permanent center in Artsakh. That same year the AMAA officially registered in Artsakh as the first Diasporan Armenian philanthropic organization.

This materialized through contacts with the highest authorities of the Republic of Artsakh. It was facilitated by personal ties, but also because the AMAA’s reputation in Armenia was appreciated by the President and the Government of Artsakh.

Rev. Janbazian and I had a similar conception of the goal to be reached and shared these objectives with Hagop Manjelikian, who was AMAA’s Field Director at the time.

Arsen Manasyan, who was appointed Coordinator of the AMAA’s programs in Artsakh in 1996, strategically directed our offices in Stepanakert and supervised the AMAA’s work throughout Artsakh. His courage and faith in God enabled the realization of our programs in the early years. 

While being in full agreement with the objectives enshrined in the official statutes of the AMAA, spiritual and philanthropic action, we believed that Artsakh represented much more than a piece of territory. Artsakh was like a part of us.

During the Artsakh war for independence from 1990 to1994, it was at the cost of the sacrifice of our soldiers and the Armenian population that we regained our honor and our pride in being Armenian. We understood that the security and independence of Artsakh were the guarantors of the security and independence of Armenia.

That is why it was necessary for the AMAA to invest in many areas of the lives of our brothers and sisters in Artsakh. Very quickly, the AMAA focused on the Christian education aspect of the younger generation, as well as their social, economic, educational and cultural needs. Through these programs, we knew that we would encourage the local people to stay in Artsakh.

The official inauguration of the new headquarters in Stepanakert was held on July 15, 1998. The Government of Artsakh, by its presence at the inauguration ceremony, expressed its support for our patriotic, humanitarian and spiritual action.

That day in Stepanakert with Rev. Janbazian, our international delegation and our local leaders, we first stopped at the Cemetery of the heroes who fell during the liberation war to meditate. Rev. Janbazian deeply moved us by his words filled with gratitude to these young people who fell at the front for the defense of the Armenian borders and for the defense of Armenians all over the world.

Later in the day, we went to Shushi to visit this “impregnable” fortress. We prayed in the magnificent Ghazanchetsots Cathedral. When I left the Church, I asked Rev. Janbazian to follow me and our local Coordinator Arsen Manasyan. The three of us went to visit a house 500 meters away with adjoining land. I said to Rev. Janbazian: “We have a permanent seat in Stepanakert, now we must also set the presence of the AMAA in Shushi, because Shushi is the place where, in 1823, the Swiss missionaries of the Evangelical Mission of Basel settled and, it is there that the Evangelical movement began in the Caucasus (Eastern Armenia) among the Armenians.  Rev. Janbazian looked at this beautiful house and said: “It’s okay, you find the money in France and we buy it.”  In the following months, an Armenian from France financed this purchase and that’s how AMAA settled in Shushi. This house was also the place where AMAA’s Summer Camp Program in Shushi developed. Soon AMAA also took charge of the only kindergarten in Shushi.

We were so happy, along with our Artsakh colleagues, to have been able to help the city of Shushi flourish.

Today, we are still reeling from the defeat of the war and the surrender of November 10, 2020. However, we believe that better days will come. The AMAA is still present in Artsakh. Our on-site representatives do an extraordinary job and under the leadership of Executive Director/CEO Zaven Khanjian, the AMAA is raising awareness around the world on the situation and needs of Artsakh.

Thanks to the help and prayers of all AMAA members and friends, we will continue to participate in the recovery and development of Artsakh and its people.

We have been shaken, but we believe God has not forsaken us. The children of Artsakh will still sing patriotic and spiritual songs, they will still dance our folk dances, they will continue their studies, and they will grow up healthy, under the benevolent gaze of the Good Shepherd.

So, we will say as usual with faith and comfort: “Next year in Shushi!”

Rev. Dr. René Léonian was AMAA Representative in Artsakh 1995-2011

The first property bought in Shushi, where the AMAA’s Summer Camp Program was developed.

Call to the Political Elite in the Homeland

With extreme anxiety and deep concern we follow the current existential crisis in the Homeland and the alienation of cohesive dialogue , mutual respect and concession over a common cause. We are cognizant that answers are sought not only on the recent Artsakh war, but also of blatant failures in security, defense, and diplomacy over the past quarter century.

            We are convinced that the Homeland needs a national leadership that inspires confidence to all its citizens and finds its way through the realm of the law in the perimeters of the country’s constitution.

            In view of the current mounting threat to Armenia’s peace, progress, prosperity and national unity, we call on all parties to lay aside their differences in the name of the Homeland and the sublime interests of the Armenian nation and gather around a table to formulate a mutually agreed plan for snap elections.

            We wholeheartedly pray that all national, political and institutional leadership use their political wisdom to secure lasting peace and tranquility in Armenia.

Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian, Executive Director, Armenian Evangelical World Council

Zaven Khanjian, Executive Director/CEO, Armenian Missionary Association of America

March 2, 2021


Խոր անձկութեամբ եւ յուզումով կը հետեւինք Հայաստան Աշխարհի ներկայ ճգնաժամային անցուդարձերուն եւ իրարամերժ ոգիով արտայայտուած քաղաքական միտքերուն եւ ուղղութիւններուն: Իրազեկ ենք այն իրողութեան, որ արդարօրէն պատասխաններ կը փնտռուին ոչ միայն Արցախեան վերջին պատերազմի մասին, այլ նաեւ անցնող քառորդ դարու անվտանգութեան, պաշտպանութեան եւ դիւանագիտական ծալքերու մէջէն ի յայտ եկած ձախողութիւններուն համար:

Համոզուած ենք, որ Հայրենիքը պէտք ունի վստահութիւն ներշնչող իշխանութեան մը, որ իր ուղին գտնէ երկրի սահմանադրութեան պարագիծի մէջ ակօսուած օրէնքի ճանապարհով:

Ի տես Հայաստանի խաղաղութեան սպառնացող ներկայ վտանգին եւ համազգային բնոյթ ունեցող քաղաքական այս տագնապին, այսու, կոչ կ’ընենք բոլոր կողմերուն յանուն հայրենիքի եւ հայ ազգի գերագոյն շահերուն մէկդի դնել տարբերութիւնները եւ հաւաքուիլ սեղանի մը շուրջ տնօրինելու արտակարգ ընտրութիւններու շուրջ համաձայնուած ծրագիր մը:

Ի բոլոր սրտէ կ’աղօթենք, որ հայրենի քաղաքական եւ կուսակցական ղեկավարները իրենց քաղաքական իմաստութիւնը գործածեն ի սէր Հայաստանի անդորրութեան եւ խաղաղութեան:

Վեր. Վահան Յ. Թութիկեան, Գործադիր Տնօրէն, Հայ Աւետարանական Համաշխարհային Խորհուրդ

Զաւէն Խանճեան, Գործադիր Տնօրէն, Ամերիկայի Հայ Աւետարանչական Ընկերակցութիւն

Մարտ 2, 2021

Letter of Solidarity

Your Excellency:

Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan,

President of the Artsakh Republic

Dear Mr. President and the Chief Commander of the brave Artsakh Army,

We salute you for your brave leadership and commitment during these critical times, as you and our brave people of Artsakh are facing courageously the evil enemy, whose intentions are very clear; to break us and invade the land of our forefathers. We believe that the strong and brave people of Artsakh, with your leadership, will win the war and protect the land and the people of Artsakh.

We are miles away and due to the global pandemic are unable to be with you physically, but we assure you that we are with you and fighting the enemy with heart, soul and mind till the end, when we will rise up victorious.

We raise our prayers to the Almighty God to protect you and be with you and the rock-solid Artsakh people. We are sure that the dawn is not far and the sun will shine to brighten the coming days and the heads of the Armenian people will be raised up high with the Free and Independent Artsakh.

On behalf of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, once again I salute you and commit to continue to pray for Artsakh and seek God’s blessing and might to lead you on the way toward total victory. Rest assured that God is with you and with our dedicated and brave army.

We hope soon to come to Artsakh and celebrate with you, and our brothers and sisters, your victory.

Long live our President!

Long live each and every soldier, young and old!

Long live the brave people of Artsakh!

Long live Artsakh!


Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian
President and CEO
Armenian Missionary Association of Australia

L to R: Kaylar Michaelian, Permanent Representative of Arstakh Republic to Australia; Rev. Dr. René Léonian, President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches of Eurasia; Rev. Haroutune Selimian, President of the Armenian Protestant Community of Syria; Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, President of the Republic of Artsakh; Rev. Berdj Djambazian, Minister to the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Union in North America; Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, President of the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia; Rev. Aram Babajanyan, Pastor of the Evangelical Church of Armenia in Gyumri

🕊️Armenia and Artsakh: The Doves Will Fly Again

Dear Children of God,

Dear Friends,

A danger of extinction is looming over the heads of our kin in Artsakh.

An existential threat shadows the sovereign states of Armenia and Artsakh.

We are witnessing an uninhibited emergence of a century old evil on the Western and Eastern borders of our homeland,

But our cry is for PEACE.

The unalienable right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is a gift from the Creator to all nations and people in every corner of the planet.

The people of Artsakh are on the forefront to deserve that gift.

In a free and democratic show of will, the people of Artsakh have long exercised their right of self-determination and desire to freely live, love, worship, develop and prosper.

Early morning on Sunday, September 27, 2020 that right was violated by Azerbaijan.

Incited, encouraged and armed by Turkey, Azerbaijan launched an all-out military assault on the peaceful population of Artsakh.

A heinous and indiscriminate shelling of the peaceful civilian population of border towns and villages including the capital Stepanakert, ensued.

Artsakh was shelled by artillery fire, military assault drones, helicopters and missiles.

Our people are crying for PEACE and in the process, the heroic defenders of our land, homes, churches, families, women and children are determined to secure the homeland and protect its borders.

Dozens have been martyred, hundreds wounded and thousands have been evacuated.

But the defenders are holding firm to the land of Noah.

Our collective support is critical as the battles continue to escalate.

There can only be one outcome to the situation.


Victory requires sacrifice and the people of Armenia and Artsakh are determined to shed their blood.

We are called to pray for peace, raise awareness in our surroundings and share our material resources to sustain the people of Artsakh and their land, support the victims of war, care for the wounded and offer an honorable goodbye to the martyrs.

During a meeting of community leaders in the United States, the honorable ROA Ambassador, HE Varuzhan Nercessian, shared the desire of the national leadership in Armenia and Artsakh to channel all support and sustenance through the ‘Hayastan’ All Armenian Fund (

The Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), totally cognizant of the emergency situation on the ground, has advanced the Armenia Fund an initial sum of $100,000 with the promise of more.

The AMAA has placed its facilities in Artsakh and Armenia under the disposal of the civilian authorities to shelter women, children and the elderly.

The doves will once again fly out of Noah’s ark and soar uninhibited into the skies praising the Lord.

Your gracious support will sound the trumpets.


Zaven Khanjian 
AMA-America Executive Director/CEO

Mail check to: AMA-Australia 12A Castle Crescent Belrose NSW 2085 memo: Lebanon Urgent Relief
Make an online donation with a note “Lebanon Emergency Appeal
Direct deposit: AMA-Australia bank account with your name as reference
Bank: Commonwealth Bank Account Name, Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
BSB Number: 062272 – Acc. Number: 1009 3977

Artsakh in Our Hearts

Yesterday, Sunday 27 September 2020 afternoon Sydney time, we were devastated to receive the disturbing news from our beloved Artsakh. Since seven in the morning, Artsakh time, Azeris with their allies and hired mercenaries launched an aggressive military attack and declared war against Artsakh, creating panic and fear in the Armenian civilian population. There were several air strikes on the border and also in the capital Stepanakert.

This attack, which was not unexpected, resulted in many casualties, including Armenian soldiers and innocent civilians young and old. As a result, the Artsakh president, Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, announced martial law and gave his orders to fully mobilise the army and in a speech given soon after the Azeri military launch, called all men, age 18 and up, to be recruited in preparation, if this turns to a full scale war. In his evening media press conference, the President made clear that Artsakh is not in war against Azerbaijan only, but also with their ally and partner Turkey.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia joins the Australian Armenian organisations with the Armenian National Committee of Australia and the entire Armenian nation and the civilized world and in the strongest terms, condemns this aggression. Also, calls the Australian Government, Federal and State, to condemn this violent attack, which resulted and will still result in the loss of civilians. We are sure that the Friends of Artsakh, which include Australian politicians, religious and community leaders, as well as many public figures, will join in condemning this aggression.

The Armenian Missionary Association of America Executive Director, Mr. Zaven Khanjian, has already announced that the Armenian Missionary Association, places its facilities in the Artsakh Republic under the disposal of the civilian authorities to shelter women, children and the elderly to keep them safe during the violent attacks.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia calls on all peace-loving people and nations to join in prayer, seeking God’s protection for the people. Please join us in prayer for the people of Artsakh and all those brave young men, who are defending their land, the land of their ancestors.

To you, our dear friend and President, Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, we say: “Be strong, and courageous, because we are sure that you will lead the people of Artsakh and the brave men, to protect the land that God has given to our forefathers. Be strong and courageous, because we all are with you in these very difficult and critical times. God is with you and we all are in this with you, even if we are miles away from our beloved motherland Artsakh and Armenia”.

Artsakh is our stronghold. Artsakh is and always will be in our hearts with its beauty and inspiration.

In prayer and reassurance.

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian
President and CEO
Armenian Missionary Association of Australia

A Man of Vision and Dedication

Today, September 25, marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Rev. Dr. Movses Janbazian. It seems like yesterday when I got the terrible call from my brother Rev. Dikran, who tearfully told the sad news. Twenty years ago, Sydney was in a celebratory mood, hosting the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Receiving the shocking news, I made travel arrangements to attend my brother-in-law’s funeral. I remember during the long flight from Sydney to New York, I was in deep sorrow, thinking of the great loss we had, not only a family member, but a servant of God, who was serving within the circles of the Armenian Evangelical Churches and the Armenian community all over the world. His life was cut short at the age of 55, but he had so many triumphs and achievements during his decades of dedicated service. Now, 20 years after his passing, I still believe if he had more time on this earth, he would have flourished and realised so many more dreams. We asked then, and we still ask now: “Why?” Only God knows!

Movses left this world, leaving behind his wife and children, Janbazian and Youmoushakian families, as well as the wider Evangelical family in pain and sorrow. He left us, but he continues to live through his family, friends, the community and the motherland of Armenian and Artsakh that he loved so much.

This great man, who was born in Anjar, Lebanon on July 26, 1945, received his early education at the Armenian Evangelical High School of Anjar, a B.A. degree from Haigazian University, a Master of Christian Education degree from the Near East School of Theology, served Armenian Evangelical churches in Lebanon on many levels and was sent as a missionary-minister to the Armenian Evangelical Central Church of São Paulo, Brazil. In 1980, he was called by the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) to serve as the first Field Director of the Association. In that capacity, he held a variety of administrative and fieldwork responsibilities. In 1987 he was appointed as the Executive Director and the Chief Executive Officer of the AMAA, being responsible for the oversight and guidance of the life and work of the AMAA.

Movses served within the AMAA and the Armenian Evangelical Church with great dedication as a leader for twenty years.

Paragraphs will not be enough to count and reflect on the achievements of this great man of God, who had a great heart for people and Armenian communities around the world, including the Australian Armenian Community. We, as family and the Armenian Evangelical Church of Sydney, were privileged to enjoy his visit with his wife Louisa to Sydney and Melbourne in April 1999. During those two weeks we organised special services and public gatherings and visited the leaders of the Armenian community, some political leaders and the Armenian organisations and institutions.

During that short visit, Movses encouraged us to form a District Committee of the AMAA and appoint board members. With the directives and the thoughts of this visionary man, we planned to launch and commence our missionary service in Australia, with the firm commitment to establish the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia. The plan was to have our inaugural gathering in March 2001, but unfortunately by then, the man of vision and mission was not with us anymore.

Having learned a lot from him, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia commenced its services in March 2001. Soon we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary, sadly without the visionary who was behind it as the encourager, motivator and moving force. We still miss him after twenty years and we will continue to miss him.

During the AMAA’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations here in Sydney in March 2018 under the auspices of the Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, then the Chief Minister of the Republic of Artsakh and now the President, also with our current and dedicated AMAA Executive Director Mr. Zaven Khanjian and AMAA President Dr. Nazareth Darakjian, representatives from eight different countries and many distinguished guests, we paid a special tribute to Movses, as the man who was behind the great idea of establishing the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia. Since then, with God’s help and blessing, we believe we have achieved a lot with a small group of dedicated people, who served as board members during the last 20 years. Today we are where we are, because of some dedicated people and many faithful supporters. But we owe so much to him, the man himself, the Man of Vision and Dedication. Without his support and guidance, twenty years ago, we wouldn’t be here with the great success that we have achieved by Gods’ grace.

Gontag from His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Sea of Cilicia

During the 100th Anniversary Celebration in Sydney, we received a special pontifical tribute, a “Gontag” from His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Sea of Cilicia, which was presented to his wife Louisa and son Vahak. You can read it in the image.

After twenty years, the memory of this great man is still with us and will be for many years to come. We owe him so much. We are rest assured that he fought the good fight, finished the race (though soon), kept the faith and deserved the award of the crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:7).

Dear Movses, you have committed your life for Christ, done your share and your legacy will remain with us all. You are the man of Vision and Dedication, yet one of the humblest and most loving people. You could easily have looked for praise, applause and ovation, but you always preferred the simple and modest life. You were old with the old and young with the young. You lived your life following the steps of the Great Man, Christ, Himself. You will be with us always as our brother, friend, co-worker, one of the greatest in the history of 175 years of the Armenian Evangelical Church, but also a dedicated leader with an exemplary life.

Rest in peace my brother.

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian
AMA-AUS President/CEO
September 25, 2020

Prayer for Lebanon

One Month After the Explosion of August 4, 2020

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at 6:10 pm a powerful explosion in the port area of Beirut shook the beautiful city. This unprecedented explosion left behind hundreds of dead, thousands injured and over 300,000 people homeless in just a matter of seconds. Many lost loved ones, family members, friends and colleagues. The blast was so powerful that it was felt miles away, leaving behind destruction, devastation and debris.

Lebanon has suffered multiple waves of conflict and disaster in the past. 15 years of civil war and 30 years of political, social and economic turmoil has been compounded by the strain on resources caused by the Syrian war and an influx of refugees. Tuesday’s explosion came at a time when the country is already gripped by an economic crisis and reeling from the impacts of COVID-19. This massive explosion not only shattered buildings, property and hundreds of lives, but took away the hopes of the people, who were struggling to survive and looking for answers for the prevailing crisis. For some, this massive explosion was the final blow.

Today, after a month has passed, the international community responded with generosity and compassion, as many countries, nations, governments, organisations and individuals around the world are offering their help and support. Countless calls for aid and assistance have been given to help the people of Lebanon. Needless to say, that already some aid has arrived, but the pain of the suffering people is still there, who need our care, love and compassion. Our obligation and task is to unite with people around the world, to hold in our hearts and in our prayers the people of Beirut, Lebanon.

Let us pray to the God of compassion who is the strength of those who suffer and comforts those who grieve for the people of Lebanon.

Let us embrace those who have lost loved ones and are grieving in pain and agony.

Let us pray to God to fill us with compassion, so that we reach out with love to those who are broken hearted and anxious.  

Let us pray to the God of love and refuge as we hold the people of Beirut in our hearts:

Loving and gracious God, we pray that Your Spirit of healing and protection be with the suffering people of Beirut and Lebanon at this time as we remember the catastrophe after a month.

May the good news of peace, healing and loving care be with all, especially with those who are suffering as a result of the disaster.

In Your mercy, we pray, bring comfort to those who are still in pain and are in tremendous trauma.

We pray for those who are healing and for those who are homeless and are looking for shelter.

We pray for those who are hungry and looking for sustenance to survive.

We pray for those who are working hard to find the means to rebuild their shattered lives as well as the destroyed buildings.

We pray for the thousands of the volunteers, who offered their services to anyone in need in the days immediately after.

We pray for those who organised and followed up with the cleaning and were there for those who needed their personal touch.

We pray for the medical staff, who did their best to care for the injured.

We pray for all the churches, organisations and institutions, who mobilised to extend a helping hand to reach out in love and care.

We pray for the worldwide efforts for lifting up the spirit of the people of Lebanon.

We pray Lord, please give hope to the hopeless, shelter to those who are homeless, give food and nutrition to those who lack it, give patience to those who have lost everything.

Loving and generous God, You promise that You will never forsake Your people. Be with all who feel shrouded in darkness, fear and anxiety: all who are anxious about what the future holds, whose pain brings them close to despair. May Your light shine in the dark places.

Generous God, You bring hope and new life. Be with the people of Lebanon. May Your hope fill their hearts and give them rest.

Our loving, merciful and compassionate God, we pray all these in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is our only hope and refuge.

To whom is the glory now and forever. Amen!

Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian

President and CEO, Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
Minister, St. Andrew’s Uniting Church Longueville
Treasurer, Middle East National Conference UCA


You can choose one of or several options to send your donation

Mail check to: AMA-Australia 12A Castle Crescent Belrose NSW 2085 memo: Lebanon Urgent Relief
Make an online donation with a note “Lebanon Emergency Appeal
Direct deposit: AMA-Australia bank account with your name as reference
Bank: Commonwealth Bank Account Name, Armenian Missionary Association of Australia
BSB Number: 062272 – Acc. Number: 1009 3977

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia Fundraising Surpasses $2,000,000


The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, run by all volunteers, has reached an important milestone through its fundraising efforts. Since its inception, the AMA-Australia, have raised over $2,000,000. Securing two Endowment Funds for education, the Anthony Rozanski ($500,000) and the Barkev Ishkhanian Fund ($50,000). The income from the funds is used to support students in Lebanon.

With the efforts of the founding board members and consequently with the members who have served over three year terms, with the leadership of its President and CEO, the annual turnover in 2001 financial year of $12,000, by God’s grace surpassed $2,000,000 in June 2020.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) a registered Incorporation in Australia and acting as a charity, pursues the same aims as the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMA America), which is to extend a helping hand to our Armenian brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh and the Middle East, struggling and facing a hard time to make ends meet.

In 2021 we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of AMA-Australia.

Since the launch in 2001 the AMA-Australia has embarked on journey of mission and adopted many projects and organised fundraisers to support the needy. The programs have included social and cultural initiatives. The main projects of the Association since its formation are the Child Scholarship Program to needy children in Armenia, Education Sponsorship Program for needy students in Lebanon and Syria, Relief aid to Armenia and in the last few years especially for Syria. We also have a sponsorship program for children in Armenia and students in Lebanon and distribution of Christian literature, such as 400 copies of Our Daily bread and the AMAA Newsletter, in Australia and New Zealand.

AMA-Australia does not have paid staff, buildings, offices or even a business phone. All the work is done via emails and correspondence. The AMA-Australia Website and Facebook are active. You can follow our programs, activities and news by visiting our website and following us on Facebook.

We need your help!

Our aim is to let as many people know the works of this organisation, and help fundraising efforts to fuel projects in 2020 & 2021, ESPECIALLY in these tough times for our Armenian brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh and the Middle East.

Without your donations and support we would not have been able to raise the much-needed funds to pursue our goals for the glory of God.

Please continue to support us, if you have already done so, or join your hands and help us to do better in the coming years.