LA CRESCENTA, CA – On Tuesday, May 2nd, the Armenian Youth Federation Western United States (AYF-WUS) Central Executive met with His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan, Prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Church in the USA, to discuss repeated and coordinated incidents in which the AYF membership has been censored, targeted, and prohibited from places of community congregation by an illegitimate rogue group claiming to control centers and churches within the Western Prelacy’s jurisdiction – all unwarranted. The most recent of these incidents took place on April 9th, where members of the AYF were prohibited from distributing April 24 ﬂyers at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale. The meeting also included Unger Daron Der-Khachadourian, Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western USA (ARF-WUSA), as well as Vahe Hovagimian and George Chorbajian representing the Western Prelacy board.
Upon raising these concerns regarding the repeated, inexcusable behavior shown towards members of the AYF, His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan reaﬃrmed that he and the Western Prelacy stand in solidarity with the AYF, and that the churches and community centers of the Western Prelacy are home to all Armenian youth. His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan continued to reassure that the issue of AYF members being prohibited from properties owned by the Western Prelacy is unacceptable, and he condemned the actions taken against AYF members in this capacity. Furthermore, His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan expressed his deep disappointment and concern at the prohibition of AYF members distributing ﬂyers to invite the community to commemorate
the Armenian Genocide at their Rally for Humanity, and conﬁrmed that both he and the Western Prelacy are aware that any such rumors attempting to justify this shameful behavior against the AYF are false.
“It is equally important that we share with the public the obstacles that our AYF membership faces, which are both unprecedented and unacceptable to the AYF Central Executive, as well as showcase our unwavering relationship with His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan and the Western Prelacy,” said Unger Alex Manoukian, member of the AYF-WUS Central Executive. “There is strength in unity between the AYF-WUS,
ARF-WUS, His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan, and the Western Prelacy in all condemning the targeting of AYF members by members of this rogue group in spaces that belong to the greater community.”
Although this meeting between the leadership of the leading organization for Armenian American youth and His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan was fruitful in aﬃrming the strong support for each other, as well as the Western Prelacy, the AYF-WUS Central Executive is still waiting for a resolution to the events that took place against AYF members on April 9th at St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in Glendale.
Both the AYF-WUS Central Executive and His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan again pledged to support each other as they always have in the past. It is clear that His Grace Bishop Torkom Donoyan stands strongly with the youth, and that the AYF-WUS will work alongside him and the Western Prelacy, as always, for the betterment of the Armenian nation.
Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) is the largest and most inﬂuential Armenian-American youth organization. With chapters throughout the United States and aﬃliated organizations around the world, the AYF actively strives to advance the social, political, educational, and cultural awareness of all Armenian-American youth.
For more information, please visit their website at www.ayfwest.org.