Congresswoman Speier Condemns Destruction of Der Zor Church

WASHINGTON–Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo Counties) today released the following statement in response to the destruction of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, Syria by the Islamic State, or ISIL.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Congresswoman Jackie Speier

“ISIL’s actions can only be viewed as a barbaric act of terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forced to march to the deserts of Der Zor, where they lived in concentration camps until their brutal extermination. The Armenian Genocide Memorial Church commemorates these men, women, and children, along with the more than 1.5 million Armenians who were systematically annihilated by the Ottoman Empire. As a proud member of the Armenian community, my relatives and ancestors are included in this figure. If my mother had been born in the Ottoman Empire instead of Fresno, she too may have been a target. This consecrated church stood as a reminder of the terrible consequences of hateful ideology and violence. We must remember these lessons as ISIL threatens Armenians, Kurds, Jews, Muslims, and Christians today.”

Congresswoman Jackie Speier represents California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. “Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forced to march to the deserts of Der Zor, where they lived in concentration camps until their brutal extermination.”
    Concentration camp would be a luxury compared to the conditions they were… Based on stories I heard from my grandmother it sounds like hell…

  2. Again…… As I mentioned when news of this outrage broke a few days ago… This outrage must be PUBLICIZED AGGRESSIVELY to all media; social, internet and print. CALL the editors of your local media and also petition your Congressmen to speak out about the destruction of this Memorial Church. It is like the Genocide is repeated in part when MEMORY represented by this Church is obliterated.
    DON’T let this issue go.. It will also throw a light on the Genocide itself.. With the Centennial of the Genocide rapidly approaching let this outrage at least remind the American public INCLUDING OBAMA of what befell your ancestors in the early 20th Century and the need for acknowledgement.


  3. Thank you Congresswoman Speier. I wish more of your colleagues would have the nerve to use the term genocide. There is no other word to describe what was done to the Armenian people. It’s a shame the President skirts the issue
    I am not Armenian although I have visited Armenia. Should you have the chance, I urge you to travel there. Again thank you for having the integrity to address the issue.

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