Friday, October 19, 2007

On U.S. tour, Armenian Church leader visits Baton Rouge, New Orleans

Associated Press - October 18, 2007 7:35 AM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The leader of the seven million member Armenian Orthodox Church is scheduled to visit Dallas today.

The visit by Patriarch Karekin the Second comes after the church leader visited a Louisiana church in Baton Rouge last night. He greeted new parishioners but made no reference to a political dispute on Capitol Hill over his homeland's bloody past.

At issue is whether Congress should declare that Turks committed genocide in the killing of 1 1/2 million Armenians in World War I.

Ethnic Armenians have urged the U.S. House to approve such a resolution. Turkey, which is an important U.S. ally, vehemently denies the killings amount to a genocide.

Karekin II has said he supports the measure, and in previous appearances in his monthlong tour has thanked the House Foreign Relations Committee for approving it.

His tour, which ends November 1st, also includes stops in Houston, Cleveland, Chicago and Detroit.



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