From the time Christianity was introduced to the people living in the region known to historians as Armenia by the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century up until 1915, Christian Armenians built and worshipped in churches all throughout present day Turkey.
Armenia was the first Christian nation adopting the religion in 301 AD. According to church records (which were diligently kept by priests) in 1915 there were, outside of the city of Istanbul in Turkey: 2538 Apostolic Churches, 560 Protestant churches, 451 Armenian Monasteries and 1996 Armenian Schools.
These were beautiful structures that lasted for millennium that had a global impact on history and education until wearing a cross and believing in Christ…became a crime. Today in Turkey, outside of Istanbul, there are no Armenian schools, no Armenian monasteries and a total of 6 churches called ‘Museums” by the Turkish authorities.
Thousands of years of Christian Armenian history were systematically destroyed along with over 1.5 million innocent lives including many directly related to me.
I am a grandson of genocide survivors.
At best count we lost a total of 77 members of the family during that period. My Grandmother Hripsema lost 25, my grandfather Garabed lost 15, my grandmother Biazaar lost 12 and my grandfather Hagop(my namesake) lost 25.
Each grandparent had an amazing story of survival which would make the most heartless person break into tears. They ended up as refugees in a monastery in the Armenian Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem until they were allowed to come to the US…Thank goodness.
April 24th is known world wide as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day.
Armenians around the world observed our unhealed emotional scars and pray no other people ever experience the pain of hatred. But once again the US lost the opportunity to join every other civilized nation in the world and condemn the politics of denial. Unfortunately President Obama chose the Faustian option with the Turks and refused to use the correct word…GENOCIDE. But failing to acknowledge genocide paves the way for future genocides.