Aram I, head of Armenian Apostolic Church, visits Southern California

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Aram I, the head of Armenian Apostolic Church, visited Southern California to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his consecration. (KABC)

Southern California's large Armenian population welcomed Aram I, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to the Southland for a four-day trip.

Aram I celebrated the 20th anniversary of his consecration with several events in the Los Angeles area.

"How do we express in concrete ways our faithfulness to the Christian faith? That is our message," Aram I said during an interview with ABC7.

Historic photo of Catholicosate.

Historic photo of Catholicosate.

Current photo of Catholicosate.

Aram I resides in Lebanon and actively promotes mutual understanding among religions, cultures and diversities.

"I think it's vitally important that you see these diversities coexist in an integrated coherent way," Aram I explained. "In this way, these diversities become a source of richness."

WATCH: Aram I's full interview with ABC7
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Aram I, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, interviews with ABC7's Chelsea Edwards during a visit to Southern California.

He's also an advocate of increasing global recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, including from President Barack Obama, who has only referred to it as a massacre.

"Whether this word is used by the White House or not, a genocide is a genocide," Aram I said. "That's why sometimes I think we're playing with the words."

Last year, Aram I filed a lawsuit against the Republic of Turkey to reclaim land that the historic Catholicosate of Cilicia sits upon.

A scene from a religious service that took place recently by clergy from Catholicosate of Cilicia on the lands of the ancient Catholicosate the subject of the lawsuit.

"We want our property back. That center is the expression of our church, our history, our faith," Aram I explained.

Overall his message was one of acceptance.

"It is my firm expectation that all communities which are part of the American society should continue living together as neighbors, as partners, respecting and accepting each other," Aram I said.
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religionchurchu.s. & worldthe white housepresident barack obamagenocideculturediversityLa CrescentaGlendaleLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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