Author Topic: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?  (Read 217 times)

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Offline Aram

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Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« on: February 25, 2015, 02:48:01 AM »
Out of curiosity why did it take this long?  Was there a concern that the Armenian Minority still in Turkey would suffer, or were Soviet and NATO politics involving the schism between the two Catholicoi involved?
The cynical answer (which seems to be far closer to reality than most want to admit) is because it's far more politically prudent to do this on the 100th anniversary, especially now that the Republic of Armenia has mostly stabilized and issues in the diaspora have sort of calmed down a bit from where they were even during the early years after 1991. You don't see both Catholicoi routinely walking around flanking Serzh Sargsyan for anything else. To be frank, it should be mentioned that there wasn't the same kind of urgency for the victims of the massacres of 1894-6 or 1909. Those martyrs aren't even part of the discussion. And while we're at it, the 1.5 million figure is almost certainly inaccurate, too, as far as the surviving, constantly emerging documentary evidence suggests. It's probably somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000. Canonizing an abstract number in the face of historical evidence that it's almost certainly quite incorrect should raise an eyebrow. Really, there are a number of very problematic issues around this whole process, as far as a lot of folks are concerned, but it's not popular to challenge what seems to be a groundswell of support for what's happening on April 23rd. (As a correction, the canonization is happening on the 23rd, not the 24th, so that the martyrs will already be canonized for the actual commemoration date and major services in Etchmiadzin.)

That being said. The pragmatic answer doesn't really have anything to do with anything you mentioned. I do think, though, that much of it has to do with the fact that the upcoming 100th anniversary created a sense of urgency around a number of lingering issues that really did need to be addressed, the biggest of which was the fact that no one knew how the Armenian Church actually canonized saints. As Salpy mentioned, it's true that the Armenian Church hasn't canonized a single person since the 15th century. The church had to legitimately sit down and figure out exactly how the process worked, as crazy as that sounds. So the church raced to overcome 500 years of indecision to make sure the Genocide victims were canonized in time for 4/24/15. Of course, this opens the door for a lot of people who probably should be canonized, and hopefully that process will begin in the near future. Yet I don't think it will, because there's not a pressing anniversary to canonize someone like Vazken I or Khrimian Hayrig. At least it's theoretically possible now, I guess.

Another issue that seems to be overlooked is the fact that the commemoration date of April 24th opens up the possibility that the commemoration date can (and will at some point) coincide with Easter, as happened in 2011. And, really, that was an odd day. Without exception, Armenian communities will somehow commemorate April 24th in ways that include both the church and the secular (read, political) parts of the community--but what do you do when that date also coincides with the most important feast on the church calendar? How do we go from celebrating the resurrection of Christ straight into a requiem service for victims of the Genocide? What happens when April 24th falls during Holy Week and the local pan-Armenian committees want to hold a program or requiem service on Holy Saturday (as the latest date for Easter is April 25th)? There was apparently some discussion of having the official date of commemoration be at another time (I think the discussion was a date in September), but it was ultimately decided to keep the date of April 24th. Of course, there are important historical reasons for this, but liturgically, it's a big question mark.

At any rate, I look at this entire process with some gladness, but also with great skepticism. It's important that it's happening, but there are a number of issues under the surface that I really wish would be honestly and earnestly addressed instead of racing to the finish to get the martyrs canonized by April 24, 2015. The big picture is just as important, as far as I'm concerned.

Offline Aram

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 02:54:33 AM »
this canonization is superb because it points out the Armenians were killed not because they were Armenian but because they were Christians.
A study of Ottoman and Young Turk ethnic policy would tell you that this is a misleading assumption, if not incorrect. Of course, Armenian and Christian was almost synonymous, but Ottoman policy calculated difference (and in turn, expulsion and extermination) based on ethnic identity. Turkish authorities were obsessed with statistics and ethnographic data, which did take religion into account, but was essentially based on ethnic difference. Armenians, Greeks, and other smaller groups didn't fit into the bigger picture of Turkic peoples inhabiting Anatolia, and in turn controlling its economy.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 03:15:10 AM »
And while we're at it, the 1.5 million figure is almost certainly inaccurate, too, as far as the surviving, constantly emerging documentary evidence suggests. It's probably somewhere between 800,000 and 1,000,000. Canonizing an abstract number in the face of historical evidence that it's almost certainly quite incorrect should raise an eyebrow.

There are historians who cast doubt on whether the 20,000 martyrs of Nicomedia really numbered 20,000.  The exact number of people who lost their lives is not really the issue.  The issue is that during the Genocide an extremely large number of people were martyred, probably somewhere around one million.  Maybe it was half a million.  Maybe it was two million.  God alone knows the true number of people slaughtered in the Genocide, just as He alone knows the true number slaughtered in Nicomedia.

Quote
Another issue that seems to be overlooked is the fact that the commemoration date of April 24th opens up the possibility that the commemoration date can (and will at some point) coincide with Easter, as happened in 2011. And, really, that was an odd day. Without exception, Armenian communities will somehow commemorate April 24th in ways that include both the church and the secular (read, political) parts of the community--but what do you do when that date also coincides with the most important feast on the church calendar? How do we go from celebrating the resurrection of Christ straight into a requiem service for victims of the Genocide? What happens when April 24th falls during Holy Week and the local pan-Armenian committees want to hold a program or requiem service on Holy Saturday (as the latest date for Easter is April 25th)? There was apparently some discussion of having the official date of commemoration be at another time (I think the discussion was a date in September), but it was ultimately decided to keep the date of April 24th. Of course, there are important historical reasons for this, but liturgically, it's a big question mark.

I was told that after the Martyrs are canonized there will be no more requiems for them.  Wouldn't requiems for saints be improper?  My understanding is that April 24 will become a feast day for these saints, rather than a day of mourning. 

And as far as April 24 occurring on the same date as Easter, the majority of our Church's feast days are movable.  Very few, as I am sure you know, are fixed.  I would think that the commemoration of the Genocide Martyrs would be moved to a date near Easter during years when the 24th falls on Easter. 

One of the biggest issues that I see is getting the Armenian people used to the idea of no longer mourning the Martyrs.  People are so used to the requiems, it will be an adjustment.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 03:31:38 AM by Salpy »

Offline Aram

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 03:36:24 AM »
My understanding is that this isn't nearly that cut-and-dry. When you have an entire community for which just about everyone has a genocide victim in their family, April 24th will always be a day of mourning. That's just how this works in our community--it transcends the church and the process of canonizing the martyrs. No matter how important this canonization is, it will not be able to completely transform decades of engrained behavior around commemorating the 24th--especially when so many are either nominally or not even part of the Armenian Church. It really doesn't matter that feasts are moveable--no matter what, April 24th will always be April 24th, even if we're singing the sharagans during badarak on the 28th.

Whatever. All I know is that this is incredibly complex, and we're not asking nearly as many questions about this process as should be asked. Of course, the number of victims is known only to God. Yet making the assumption that every victim of the Genocide was a faithful member of the Armenian Church, much in the same way as our communities became extremely flexible about what they considered to be a "survivor" (for instance, I had an aunt that came to the United States in 1913, who was never a victim of anything related to the Genocide, that was routinely listed each year in the church bulletin as a "survivor" merely because of her age, along with others who similarly did not survive the death marches and expulsions)... At some point after the 1960s, after the term "genocide" was coined, we started looking at this event and its victims much differently--and no one has ever really thought twice about it.

For more, read Melanie Toumani's recent book, There Was and There Was Not. Her chapter about going to an Armenian old age home and seeing elderly Armenians prompted by family members and staff to tell stories about the Genocide is one of the most powerful, engaging, and eye-opening things I've read in years.

Listen, I'm cynical about this. I'd like to see the best in our community come forward out of the canonization process. So far, though, I haven't seen it. There's an opportunity to really talk about things, and we're just rushing to the canonization without really discussing the big picture. I'm not the only one seeing this, when you really put your ear close to the ground. It's a big deal, don't get me wrong. But just once I'd like to hear someone say the most important thing here isn't that people died, but that we're still here a hundred years later. On Sundays, I get on the train and ride 20 minutes to an Armenian Church. The Genocide didn't work. But we're not talking about that.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 03:37:11 AM by Aram »

Offline wgw

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 03:58:42 AM »
Indeed, but that should t surprise you Aram; our Lord did promise that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church.  Christians have been forced out of areas but I can't think of any case where an entire Christian nation was successfully exterminated.  God will not allow it, simply put (at least that's my belief).  One can of course point to North Africa, but Christianity and Judaism never entirely vanished from there, and what we saw was more emigration to the safer places and apostasy. 

Perhaps that's also the answer to the liturgical question; if Easter falls on the 24th make it a joyous celebration of the fact that the Armenians, Syriacs and Pontic Greeks are still alive and thriving all over the world.  One could draw inspiration from the Jewish commemoration of Purim, another failed genocide, although in that case their attempted murderer was stopped dead quite literally through the intervention of Esther and her father.  But after the Holocaust Jews commemorate Purim in a manner like what I described above, and that could serve as the inspiration for what to do when Pascha falls on the 24th.   That said Purim can be a bit rowdy; I am not calling for Armenians to go to the Badarak wearing costumes and getting completely hammered.  But the same sense of joy, a Christian joy ideally shared with your Syriac Orthodox co-survivors, would be wonderful.

I've seen Armenian Paschal Badaraks by the way and I love them.  The one I saw was at St. Leon's in Burbank, featuring the incredibly handsome bishop of that Cathedral as the celebrant (he's a dead-ringer for the previous Brawny man) and the service occurring in the morning rather than the dead of night as in other Orthodox traditions like that of the Syriacs and Byzantines reminded me of the Easter Sunday services in the Protestant Church in which I grew up, except it was more alive, as the bishop went among the people saying "Christ is risen!" in Classical Armenian, in his splendid red vestments, and the people kissed the cross.  It was lovely.  I believe the service in question was filmed and is the same one that's in my YouTube channel.
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Offline Stavro

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 03:10:33 PM »
Quote
Yet making the assumption that every victim of the Genocide was a faithful member of the Armenian Church, much in the same way as our communities became extremely flexible about what they considered to be a "survivor"

What we know is that anyone who renounced his faith would have survived, and maybe celebrated by the Turks. It was not an ethnic cleansing exercise. It was designed specifically against the Orthodox Christians.

An Orthodox living through the genocide had the sentence of death written all over him/her. Whether given an ultimatum or not before beheading, crucifixion, burying alive or rape till death does not matter at this stage. We are not talking about a car accident in the streets of LA. This was targeted. 

"But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:" (2 Cor 1:9)

Holy martyrs of Armenian genocide, pray for us.
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Offline Aram

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 04:08:06 PM »
Quote
Yet making the assumption that every victim of the Genocide was a faithful member of the Armenian Church, much in the same way as our communities became extremely flexible about what they considered to be a "survivor"

What we know is that anyone who renounced his faith would have survived, and maybe celebrated by the Turks. It was not an ethnic cleansing exercise. It was designed specifically against the Orthodox Christians.
Wow. I don't even know where to start with this... So I won't.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 04:16:10 PM by Aram »

Offline Salpy

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2015, 04:19:47 PM »
Quote
Yet making the assumption that every victim of the Genocide was a faithful member of the Armenian Church, much in the same way as our communities became extremely flexible about what they considered to be a "survivor"

What we know is that anyone who renounced his faith would have survived, and maybe celebrated by the Turks. It was not an ethnic cleansing exercise. It was designed specifically against the Orthodox Christians.
Wow.

You're being anachronistic.  In Ottoman Turkey there were ethno-religious groups. Not groups that were looked upon in purely ethnic terms.  I'll probably split this off later after I get home from work so it can be discussed further.  Your position ts entirely erroneous and needs to be properly addressed. I'll address it more later.

Offline Aram

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2015, 04:48:02 PM »
Quote
Yet making the assumption that every victim of the Genocide was a faithful member of the Armenian Church, much in the same way as our communities became extremely flexible about what they considered to be a "survivor"

What we know is that anyone who renounced his faith would have survived, and maybe celebrated by the Turks. It was not an ethnic cleansing exercise. It was designed specifically against the Orthodox Christians.
Wow.

You're being anachronistic.  In Ottoman Turkey there were ethno-religious groups. Not groups that were looked upon in purely ethnic terms.  I'll probably split this off later after I get home from work so it can be discussed further.  Your position ts entirely erroneous and needs to be properly addressed. I'll address it more later.
Who? Me? Or Stavro? Because I guarantee you that reading current historical literature on Ottoman ethnic policy shows that, as you point out, ethnic groups (which were defined in large part by, as you point out, ethno-religious means--I'm not sure you're understanding how I'm defining ethnicity here) were specifically targeted in extremely mathematical terms for deportation and extermination. This was ethnic cleansing in every definition of the term.

But, honestly, what's the point? It's clearly a good thing the canonizations are happening. I just wish we were prepared, as a community, to have a wider discussion about what exactly it entails and what it means. Really, I'm done arguing about this.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 05:09:32 PM by Aram »

Offline wgw

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2015, 05:15:54 PM »
Salpy is certainly correct in terms of the Ottoman Millet system.  If the Armenian millet, the Pontic Greek millet, and the sub-millers represented by the Syriacs and Assyrians (the Assyrian Catholicos, though an ethnarch, was not the formal head of a millet as his people lacked one) were targeted though, why do we see the survival of certain other millets that were not Christian?  It seems to me the ethnoreligious millets selected for annihilation were selected based on their Christianity, which is why some Armenians escaped the genocide by hiding amongst the Yazidis (hence in reward, the Yazidi minority population being allowed to live in Armenia).  Indeed the fact that the Young Turks went after the Armenians and the Assyrians, who were not a millet, while ignoring the Yazidis, who were regarded as devil worshippers and not People of the Book, and theoretically hated even more, suggests a bureaucratic rather than a theological Islamic State style targeting of Cheistians.  So an Armenian probably would not have saved his life by professing the Islamic faith.

It really looks like the bureaucrats just identified the Christians as representing the bulk of the non-Turkish millets and earmarked them for extermination, ignoring some of the other millets on the grounds of their smaller numbers. The Christians were just a big fat juicy target from the Turkish viewpoint, and one easier to identify than other ethnoreligious minorities because unlike the Bektasi or Alevi Sunnis or most other Minority religions of the Middle East, Christians do not practice taqqiya, or dissimulation.  A Shia or a Druze is not only allowed but required to pass themselves off as a Sunni rather than be martyred, whereas Christians are required to confess our faith and accept martyrdom.  Also some Turkic groups doubtless envisaged as members of the future Turkey were Shia anyway. 

So the genocide was undeniably targeted based on ethnicity, yes, but religion appears to have been the key element for selecting which ethnic groups to exterminate.   So this was a Christian martyrdom and not a coincidental situation wherein reduction in the Christian population was a result of collateral damage.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 05:16:47 PM by wgw »
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Offline Brigidsboy

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 06:44:44 PM »
I thank Aram for his insights into the canonization issue.
There are a several opinions on the Genocide and the issue of martyrdom. The matter is obviously complex and we are now 100 years removed from the event. The church will move forward with the ceremony and that will alter the church services we have become accustomed to on April 24. The political commemorations will continue and will intensify, I am sure, until the day that Turkey decides to come around on the issue.

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Offline Salpy

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2015, 09:56:48 PM »
  So an Armenian probably would not have saved his life by professing the Islamic faith.

Actually, many did.  Although most Armenians chose the path of martrydom, there were some who chose to convert to Islam to save their mortal lives.

The choice to convert to Islam was given.  We know that from the testimony of many who went through the death marches and survived.  And then there are the descendants of those who converted, who are just beginning to come to terms with their identity:

Quote
Crypto-Armenians (Armenian: ծպտյալ հայեր tsptyal hayer; Turkish: Kripto Ermeniler) or Hidden Armenians[1] (Gizli Ermeniler) is an umbrella term to describe people in Turkey "of full or partial ethnic Armenian origin who generally conceal their Armenian identity from wider Turkish society."[2] They are mostly descendants of Armenians who were Islamized "under the threat of physical extermination" during the Armenian Genocide.[3]

Turkish journalist Erhan Başyurt[a] describes Crypto-Armenians as "families (and in some cases, entire villages or neighbourhoods) [...] who converted to Islam to escape the deportations and death marches [of 1915], but continued their hidden lives as Armenians, marrying among themselves and, in some cases, clandestinely reverting to Christianity."[4] According to the European Commission 2012 report on Turkey, a "number of crypto-Armenians have started to use their original names and religion."[5] The Economist suggests that the number of Turks who reveal their Armenian background is growing.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crypto-Armenians
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 09:57:11 PM by Salpy »

Offline wgw

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 10:09:01 PM »
I did not know that.  But that surely proves then that the genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks was specifically a genocide against Christians?

It may have had economic motives, but the idea was basically, these people aren't Muslim, so let's kill them and take all their stuff.  Which seems to me to be the main idea of ISIL these days as well.   >:(

I am so sorry about what happened to your people and that it is happening again, albeit on a smaller scale.  But Armenian churches have been targets of ISIL as have Armenians.  And alas I assume the Armenian military is too busy keeping Azerbaijan at bay to march into Syria to help (and what's more you'd have to go through or around Iran or Turkey).  So it's a horrible situation.
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Offline Salpy

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 11:01:16 PM »
In January of 1915, Talaat Pasha, the architect of the Armenian Genocide, stated that there was "no room for Christians in Turkey."  These remarks were at the time reported in the New York Times.

https://books.google.com/books?id=wgIXBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=talaat+no+room+for+Armenians+in+turkey&source=bl&ots=Iqs6ywZdi6&sig=_RT4pV5Q9ws9hxKEjzQWm0Z8Drs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qH7uVPWhK8mogwSbv4KwDw&ved=0CCcQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=talaat%20no%20room%20for%20Armenians%20in%20turkey&f=false

Within a few months, the Genocide would begin.  Turkish soldiers went village by village and did their work systematically:  First, able bodied men were killed, then women, children and the elderly would be taken on forced marches into the Syrian desert of Der Zor where many, if not most, either died of exposure or were killed.  This was so thoroughly documented and attested to in contemporary sources, that no one even bothered denying it during the first few decades after it happened.  In fact, it was common in the 1920's and 1930's for American mothers who were trying to feed fussy children to say "Remember the starving Armenians."  It wasn't until the second half of the 20th century, that the Genocide denial started.  Before then, it was too fresh in people's memories.  The Turks even admitted to it. 

I recommend to anyone who hasn't watched it yet, to view this video of Amal Clooney presenting the historical evidence for the fact of the Armenian Genocide before the European Court of Human Rights. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ9_vW6FcTs

Now the question Aram presents is whether Armenians were killed off solely because of their ethnicity, or whether religion played a significant role.  As I pointed out already, religion and ethnicity were inextricably entwined during the era we are taking about:

See this passage from a book by a Turkish scholar:

https://books.google.com/books?id=V_C3AKGSBqkC&pg=PA335&dq=young+turks+pan+turkism+armenian+genocide&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gXXuVLbHGYecNoahgsAC&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=young%20turks%20pan%20turkism%20armenian%20genocide&f=false

Also, from the first paragraph of Chapter XLII of The Church of Armenia, by Patriarch Ormanian, written by him shortly before the Genocide began:

"...We will say nothing of conversions to Islamism, which are brought about mainly by the direct action of the public authorities.  The descendants of such converts belong entirely to Islamism, and can no longer be considered as Armenians.  They contribute their share in swelling the existing Turkish and Kurdish populations of the Ottoman empire."

Again, this was written shortly before the Genocide began, by a patriarch of the Armenian Church in Istanbul. This contemporary writing attests to the mindset and view regarding ethnicity and religion that existed in the empire at the time of the Genocide.  It attests to the fact that if an Armenian converted to Islam, at that time in history, he was, in effect, no longer an Armenian.

Talaat and his fellow Young Turks wanted to completely eliminate the Armenians from their homeland.  Why they wanted this has been a matter of debate.  One theory is that the Young Turks wanted to replace their crumbling Ottoman empire with a new Pan-Turkic empire that would stretch from what is today modern Turkey all the way to Mongolia, uniting all Turkic peoples into one nation.  If you look at a map, the Armenians were right in the middle of this would-be empire and there were Armenian nationalists agitating for an independent state.  If this Pan-Turkish empire were to happen, the Armenians had to no longer exist there.

There were three ways to eliminate an Armenian: 1. kill him outright, 2. march him into the desert to die, or 3. convert him to Islam.  As Patr. Ormanian stated, option 3 got rid of an Armenian just as effectively as options 1 and 2.  Moreover, it had the added benefit of "swelling" the population of Turks, and it was, of course, more sanitary.  They say there was a tremendous problem of what to do with all the bodies.  Water supplies in some areas became contaminated with all the dead being thrown into wells, etc.  Conversions to Islam were much easier.

That the Turkish soldiers made the offer to convert to Islam is well attested by survivors and other eye-witnesses at the time this all happened.  It happened in my own family, when a Turkish soldier slit my grandmother's uncle's throat in front of his family when he refused to convert.  His body was then thrown into a well and his wife and children forced into the Syrian desert where his wife died and his children were orphaned. 

The offer to convert to Islam is a very common element in the stories told by the survivors.  And we are not just talking about elderly people in nursing homes being coached by grandchildren in the late twentieth century.  This was talked and written about at the time it was happening. 

Page two of the google book I linked at the top of this post even mentions it, describing how the teachers in Armenian schools were killed after refusing to convert to Islam.

It happened.  God knows it happened.  All the Genocide denial in the world will not change the fact that this happened.  The Genocide Martyrs were Martyrs in the true sense of the word.  They could have saved their lives by denying Christ, but chose death instead.

To deny this is to deny a remarkable witness to the world of unshakable Christian faith.  This would be unconscionable.

Offline wgw

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 11:13:58 PM »
I agree Salpy.   The Armenians and their coreligionists who perished are truly glorious martyrs for Christ.  By the way, what an interesting and beautiful coincidence the color of the icon of the Coptic martyrs in Libya you've selected as your avatar matches the colors of the Armenian flag.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 11:16:12 PM by wgw »
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Offline Aram

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2015, 11:24:16 PM »
Salpy, this is my last post about this, because I think you're entirely misinterpreting what I'm saying.

I did not say Armenians were killed for their ethnicity, not their religion. As you state, and as I did, too, religion and ethnicity were intertwined. At the same time, those ethnic categories were understood in very specific ways by people like Talaat Pasha, who orchestrated a specific, methodical campaign to eradicate Anatolia of non-Turkic peoples. This was intricately planned and inherently violent. My understanding of this issue is evolving, based on reading a great deal of recent scholarship about the Genocide, much of it written during the past ten years as a result of the incredible, groundbreaking work of the WATS group (http://www.ii.umich.edu/asp/academics/specialprojects/theworkshopforarmenianturkishscholarshipwats_ci), a consortium of Armenian, Turkish, and other scholars who are consulting documents and material largely inaccessible until very recently. Our understanding of how the Genocide was perpetrated has gone far beyond period New York Times articles and what we were taught growing up. Our survivors' narratives are important, but they only go so far to understanding the broader picture of the historical events and motivations behind the Genocide.

To address another issue, I am not denying anything. I'm not suggesting the martyrs should not be canonized, which seems to be the entire premise for the way you split off this thread. What I am saying is that we should be asking different questions during the canonization process--even if the end result is (and should be) the same.

Put bluntly, I'm done discussing this, because I think we're talking past each other.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2015, 11:29:28 PM »
Thank you for clarifying your point.   :)

Offline Aram

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Re: Should the Genocide Martyrs be canonized?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2015, 06:19:40 PM »
I'm just going to go ahead and leave this here with no further comment, keeping in mind what I posted about this issue in the past:

http://www.horizonweekly.ca/news/details/65749

Catholicos Aram I on the Armenian Genocide:
(Bolded portions emphasized by me)

Quote
I’ll tell you why. What happened against the Armenians, the genocide, was not because the Armenians were Christians. This was part of the pan-Turkish ideology and politics and plans of the Young Turks. And the Armenians were a major obstacle in terms of realising their pan-Turkish policy. They wanted to bring all these nations and countries of common Turkish ethnicity and culture together, under one pan-Turkish umbrella. And the Armenian persons were an obstacle. So they organised this crime, this genocide, because of that. Religion was not a factor.