Yesterday, the Armenian-American community woke to the heartbreaking news that an Armenian community building adjacent to St. Gregory’s Armenian Church was set ablaze in an arson attack early in the morning.
The ANCA Western Region condemns the attack on the St. Gregory Armenian Church Center and is deeply concerned about an emerging pattern of hate crimes targeting the Bay Area Armenian American community as an extension of Turkish and Azerbaijani Government aggression against Armenia and Artsakh.
The building housed Vasbouragan Hall, the offices for St. Gregory Armenian Church, as well as many local Armenian community organizations including ANCA-San Francisco, the local Homenetmen, ARS, Hamazkayin and AYF chapters, and the ARF “Kristapor” chapter.
The attack comes less than two months after the anti-Armenian hate crime against the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School during a wave of global anti-Armenian violence incited by the Azerbaijan government following Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia’s northeast Tavush region that began July 12th.
The church building, one of the major centers of the San Francisco Armenian community, is a place very close to the hearts of many members of the West Coast Armenian community who have been welcomed through its doors on many occasions as part of community events and gatherings. The site was also home to the local Hamazkayin library, a trove of precious archival material irreparably damaged in the blaze.
This horrendous attack has left many in our community reeling. Today, we stand in solidarity with our community members in San Francisco in commiserating this tragic loss and in calling for a full investigation into this incident.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is monitoring this situation closely as the investigation unfolds.