"Meds Yeghern" (The Calamity) - The Armenian Genocide

4/8/2015

This year our brothers and sisters at the Armenian Evangelical Church, UCC in Cranston observe the 100th anniversary of the slaughter of 1.5 million of their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and other family members and honor these martyrs.

The Armenians lived for over 3,000 years in the lands of Anatolia (what is now eastern Turkey) and the Caucasus Mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus brought them the Gospel and in 301AD their King Dertad declared Christianity to be the religion of the land. Consequently, Armenians can claim the distinction of being the first Christian nation.

Long before Rwanda and Bosnia and the Holocaust, the first genocide of the twentieth century occurred in Turkish Armenia. On April 24th, 2015, in what is now Istanbul, more than 200 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were arrested and hanged. This was the beginning of the systematic extermination of 1.5 million men, women, and children. The killings continued through 1923.

Voices of Armenian survivors who came to Rhode Island may be found at:

Armenian Journey: From Despair to Hope in Rhode Island
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE-XI6blXB0

i witness - Oral and Visual Documentation of Survivors of the Armenian Genocide
http://www.teachgenocide.com/files/iwitness_Photo_Activity.pdf  

The Congregationalists and the Presbyterians of the United States share a connection with the Armenians that began in the late 1800s. Learn more about our UCC connection in these two documents:

Armenian Congregationalism: From Mission to Membership
http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/unitedchurchofchrist/legacy_url/1226/HH1chap04Arminian.pdf?1418424676

100 Years After Armenian Genocide, UCC’s Work Lives On
http://www.ucc.org/armenian_genocide_03132015

For resources on how your congregation and members can observe the 100th anniversary of "Meds Yeghern" on April 24, visit the Presbyterian Church (USA) website. http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/worship/armenian-genocide/  


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