Sunday Faith Blog

mount-ararat“I have greatly desired to visit this beloved land, your country, the first to embraced the Christian faith.  It is a grace for me to find myself here on these heights where, beneath the gaze of Mount Ararat, the very silence seems to speak.  Here the Khachkars (special crosses) recount a singular history bound up with genuine faith and immense suffering, a history replete with magnificent testimonies to the Gospel, to which you are the heirs.  I have come as a pilgrim from Rome to be with you and to express my heartfelt affections of your brothers and the fraternal embrace of the whole Catholic Church which esteems you and is close to you.”     Pope France on his recent visit to Armenia.

It’s interesting and important to recognize the place Armenians have taken in Christian faith;  the place where Noah’s ark landed (officially Turkey now but that land was Armenia for generations, until modern demarcation),  the first nation to embrace Christianity as its religion,  and one of the victims of the brutality of Islam, which slaughtered 1.5 million Christian Armenians in the very early 20th century, some of whom were my relatives.

While I’m not a particular fan of this Pope, I am proud of his very concise and touching overview and am happy to share the history here.  Thaddeus and Bartholomew, the Apostles who went to Armenia, are discussed HERE.  On Bartholomew.

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  John 1:12

And that’s my little history lesson for today!

Believe in His name.  Happy Sunday!

Z

 

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12 Responses to Sunday Faith Blog

  1. Great. I lost some time, finding and reading about “Armenia, City in the Sky” by The Who.
    Not applicable. Not even as good a song as I remembered.

  2. Mal says:

    Great article, Z. It is the homeland of my father too, as you are well aware. The Holocaust by Hitler in the 1930’s was the second one of the century trying to rid an entire group of people, but failed. The 1 1/2 million people you mentioned was probably equal to the 6 million Jews, % wise.

  3. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, I think that’s right re percentages……and I call the Armenian genocide the “LOW TECH genocide”…Hitler’s killing of Jews is the HIGH TECH genocide…..Armenians didn’t have to go into ovens or lethal showers, they were stabbed, hanged, and drowned….pregnant women having children cut out of them, etc. And they wonder why my VERY dear Grandma, who marched from Marash to Syria in the Deir Zor marches at the age of 9, was considered a little “fragile” for the rest of her bless-ed life in America, which she treasured so much…the most unconditionally loving woman I ever met…next to my Christian mentor, Muriel, who I lost 2 years ago.

  4. Mal says:

    Yes. And they were forced to jump off cliffs. I knew a woman that survived by luckily landing on a ledge just below the drop-off along with another boy. Both were children. They were saved later by a kurdish man that heard their crying and lowered a rope to them. She ended up in L.A., got married and had a family. These are the folks that really love our country. I remember several times my father telling us we really don’t appreciate what we have; that you have to be from another country to fully understand the difference. He was right because until we traveled abroad, I never fully understood what he meant. I wish there was some way all kids could live abroad immediately after graduating from high school. Serve 2 years in the military like the Israelis do. They would have a much better understanding and become better citizens.

  5. Mal says:

    Oh. I forgot to mention after the kids landed on the ledge, they saw and heard many others screaming as they plunged by them. That had to be the most traumatic experience a child could ever have.

  6. Mal is right. You should serve to earn a vote if you don’t own property, also.

  7. Bob says:

    I learned some things, today, about the Apostles. Who was it that martyred Bartholomew and Thaddeus? They weren’t muslims. So, what was the dominant religion in Asia Minor at that time?

  8. geeez2014 says:

    Bob, I found this “He (Bartholomew) is said to have been martyred in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward. He is said to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Astyages, Polymius’ brother, consequently ordered Bartholomew’s execution.[13]”
    So, not all Armenians took to the idea of Christianity…I suppose there was the typical number of other types of worshippers back in those days….and they killed Thaddeus and Bartholomew.
    No, Armenians weren’t Muslims… This goes back to the 40’s AD, so I sure don’t know the dominant religion back then…

    Mal, wonderful and horrible input, isn’t it…….Grandma said she regularly saw dead Armenians floating in the Euphrates and she’d never see her folks again, though they were not martyred. She came to America and that was it…didn’t go back for many years…

    ALSO: I have close friends from Europe and Ukraine….My girlfriend from Ukraine has actually said “My family came here to escape socialism! They came to escape state-run media…what’s going ON?” My Romanian and Hungarian friends are desperately sad…I’ve known Canadians who came here for a freer lifestyle, sane tax rates, etc., and they’re devastated…and they’re in their early thirties, as is my Ukrainian friend!
    Europeans who know what it was like to live with dishonest media and socialism are even more upset than WE are, it seems…….they KNOW what we’re heading to and they KNOW it isn’t pretty.

  9. geeez2014 says:

    BOB: I found this: “Religion in ancient Armenia was historically related to a set of beliefs which, in Persia, led to the emergence of Zoroastrianism. It particularly focused on the worship of Mihr (Avestan Mithra) and also included a pantheon of native Aryan gods, such as Aramazd, Vahagn, Anahit, and Astghik. The country used the solar Hayk Armenian calendar, which consisted of 12 months.

    Christianity spread into the country as early as AD 40. King Tiridates III (238–314) made Christianity the state religion in 301,[46][47] partly, in defiance of the Sassanids, it seems,[48] becoming the first officially Christian state, ten years before the Roman Empire granted Christianity an official toleration under Galerius, and 36 years before Constantine the Great was baptized. Prior to this, during the latter part of the Parthian period, Armenia was a predominantly Zoroastrian land.[48]”

  10. Bob says:

    Z: I did search for Zoroastrianism and was almost sorry I did. It seems like that particular religion is credited to have influenced monotheistic religions like Judaism and Christianity. They were around for a long time in ancient Iran, India, and other countries. There are Zoroastrians still active in the world, today. I can see where they would be like any other dominant religion, actively opposing any new faith that comes into their sphere of influence. I got tired of reading about them.

  11. geeez2014 says:

    Bob…it’s only really only fairly prevalent in India these days, from what I just read, so it pretty much petered out… I guess it was just another thing God sent His Son for….to set people STRAIGHT?!

  12. Mal says:

    Thanks,Z. I learned a few more points from what you found about early Armenia.

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