Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide and Tribute to Maria Jacobsen in Solvang

By the initiative of the Friends of Maria Jacobsen committee, on Sunday, April 29, 2018, a special tribute was held at Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang honoring the life of Danish missionary Maria Jacobsen who saved thousands of Armenian orphans during the Armenian Genocide and later founded the Bird’s Nest Orphanage in Jbeil, Lebanon, to house and care for the young orphans.

On behalf of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Rev. Fr. Movses Shannakian participated in the commemoration.

The day began with a worship service, followed by a memorial service in memory of Maria Jacobsen in front of the bust sculpture in the church courtyard. Opening remarks were delivered by organizing committee Chair Dr. Garbis Der Yeghiayan. Fr. Movses offered a prayer in memory of Maria Jacobsen and delivered his remarks stating “On this beautiful day, we have gathered here to join in prayer for the souls of our holy martyrs and to renew our pledge to persevere in our cause until we reach a just resolution of recognition, reparations, and justice. We are thankful to the nations and states that have recognized the Armenian Genocide as the irrefutable fact that it is, and to organizations and people like Maria Jacobsen who opened their hearts and arms to aid the Armenian people,” he said.

Pastor Chris Brown from Bethania Lutheran Church conveyed his message, stating “We are all brothers and sisters and children of God, no matter Armenian or Danish. Genocide and crimes against humanity shall never go unpunished and we must stand united in times of trials and tribulations.”

The service ended with singing of “Cilicia.” The attendees were then treated to a fellowship lunch hosted by the organizing committee.

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