As Armenians, we often face such questions as: Which institution is of utmost importance to us in order to survive as a nation. Is it the State? Or the Church? Perhaps the Armenian School? Is it our Arts, Music and Dance, the Armenian Press, Literature or our mother tongue through which we secure our future?
I say it is neither. The most important institution for us is the family. There have been times where we did not have a State. We have been to places where there were no Armenian churches nor Armenian clergymen, Armenian schools and we even had forgotten our language, but our families have always stayed intact and our nation survived because of it. Why is this the case, you ask? The answer is simple. The family is the fundamental State, the fundamental Church, the fundamental school and the Culture Home for us.
Therefore, beloved, follow in the footsteps of our history by caring about the sacred Institution of the Armenian Family, and put it forth for others to follow. Be supportive of our families. There lies the secret of our survival. There lies the resiliency of our nation, through which we endured all kinds of tribulations and shall face all kinds of evil horrors in the future.
Archbishop Sahag Mashalian, Istanbul, Turkey
Translated by M. Keutelian, Chicago, IL