An eldery man passes by a wall decorated with a mural depicting the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on April 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KAREN MINASYAN
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The Armenian Church prepared Thursday to canonise up to 1.5 million Armenians massacred by Ottoman forces as tensions over Turkey's refusal to recognize the killings as genocide reached boiling point.The ceremony, which is believed to become the biggest canonisation service in history, comes ahead of commemorations expected to see millions of people including heads of state Friday mark 100 years since the start of the killings. The Armenian Apostolic Church announced the canonisation service for the "martyrs of the Armenian Genocide," calling for a "prayerful participation in this historic event". The ceremony will run from 1300 GMT and end at 1515 GMT to symbolize the year when the massacres started during World War I.Ex-Soviet Armenia and the huge Armenian diaspora worldwide have battled for decades to get the World War I massacres at the hands of the Ottoman forces between 1915 and 1917 recognized as a targeted genocide.
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