MCC photo/Cherelle Dessus

The Rev. Harout Selimian, president of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Syria, stands in front of the U.S. State Department, where he advocated for peace in Syria.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rev. Harout Selimian, president of the Armenian Evangelical Church in Syria, met with U.S. Department of State officials during a visit to Washington, D.C. in February. The MCC U.S. Washington Office, which assists MCC's partners in connecting with U.S. officials, set up the meeting for Selimian.

He described the devastating conditions in his hometown of Aleppo and in the Kessab region, where many Armenians settled while escaping the Armenian genocide in the early 1900s. He urged U.S. officials to stop sending military support to armed opposition groups and to instead help form a new and better Syria.

“We are waiting and praying for you to proclaim peace and give an outstretched hand for cooperation to create a situation where the flood of refugees will be stopped,” he said.

In Syria, he said, his church continues its commitment to reach out to people of all faiths. MCC has partnered with the Armenian Evangelical Church in Syria to deliver humanitarian assistance since 2012.