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- Vetch Hazaria – Six thousand secrets of wisdom
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- Six thousand secrets of wisdom – Vetz Hazaria
- Vetz Hazaria – Questions and answers
- Control the following three things to live happy and peaceful; sensuality, material desire and anger.
- Milk nurtures a child to become healthy,strong, grow and develop good intelligence. But if you give milk to a new born snake, it will turn it into a dangerous and poisonous creature.
- When a rascal is given good instruction, he becomes angry.
- Who fears to suffer, suffers from fear
- The greatness of a person is estimated by his ability to tolerate provoking situations
- Fenugreek – get the sludge out of your bulge
Is there a curse on the Armenian People – Part 2
Leviticus 25:39-46 (New International Version)
39 “If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. 40 He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 Then he and his children are to be released, and he will go back to his own clan and to the property of his forefathers. 42 Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. 43 Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God.
44 “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”
It is not surprising that Trtad III imbibed Roman culture which was characterized by the cruel behavior of Romulus as explained above, and later, when he became a Christian, his brutality was compounded by the terrorizing fanaticism of the Judeo-Christian intolerance for any religion considered pagan.
We will now analyze the events that took place after Trtad III warned Gregory,
“You have insulted the gods and insulted me by calling me stupid for worshipping them. You had the audacity to speak to me as if you were my equal. You said I was stupid as a mule; now you shall feel the burden of such words.”
Trtad III ordered his soldiers to inflict hideous tortures on Gregory, who miraculously survived the inhuman assaults on his body by continually praying to Jesus Christ. During the tortures Trtad III gave Gregory numerous opportunities to renounce his Christian faith and respect the traditional Armenian gods and especially Anahit. Gregory adamantly refused and the tortures continued. It was brought to Trtad’s attention that Gregory was the son of Anak, the assassin of his father Khosrov. This infuriated Trtad III. He decided to have Gregory thrown into a vile, deep pit called the Khor Virab which was full of foul smelling decaying carcasses of dead prisoners and many poisonous snakes. It was a veritable hell hole and very deep in the ground so escape was not possible. The Khor Virab was the ultimate destination for the most odious criminals in Trtad’s kingdom. It was a place of no return. Gregory remained a prisoner in the pit for 13 years and by some divine intervention he stayed alive. It is said a woman would throw a loaf of bread into the pit everyday for his survival.
During the 13 years of Gregory’s incarceration, Trtad III seemingly prospered. He remained devoted to the Armenian gods and a foe of the Christian faith.
It so happened that the Roman Emperor Diocletian sent out portrait painters into his kingdom to draw the likenesses of the most beautiful women they could find. He wanted to choose a beautiful wife for himself. In a part of Rome, the painters found an extraordinarily beautiful woman who was a nun living a monastic life. She was a member of a group of nuns who continually prayed and lived an ascetic life. When Diocletian saw the portrait of the nun, he was anxious to meet her. He ordered the mother superior of the nuns to bring the young nun to him. The nuns decided to flee Rome to avoid being victimized by the Emperor. They found refuge in Armenia far away from Rome. They settled in Vagharshapat, which later became Etchmiazin, the future holy see of the Armenian Church.
Emperor Diocletian sent a message to his friend King Trtad III informing him about the nuns and especially the one young nun he wanted to marry. Agathangelos describes vividly the events that transpired between Trtad III and the nuns:
“The women decided to flee, and that was how they came to be in Vagharshapat, the residence of the Armenian kings. They lived by selling the glass pearls which one of them made. But in the very same city, King Trtad received an emissary from Diocletian. He brought a royal edict which said, ‘Let my brother Trtad know of the evils that constantly beset us because of this error-ridden sect, the Christians. For they worship a dead man, adore a cross because he was crucified, and consider their own death on his behalf to be glory and honor. They teach dishonor for kings and hold as nothing the power of the sun and moon and stars. Everywhere among our people they discourage the worship of the gods, and our threats and punishments against hem are to no avail. I happened to see among them a lovely young girl, and wanted to have her as my wife. But she and her companions have insulted my majesty by fleeing to the regions of your kingdom. So, my brother, find them for me and take vengeance. Send her back to me unless you wish to keep her for yourself. And may you be well by the worship of the gods.’”
Trtad immediately ordered a search, and the nuns were soon found. For it was ordained by God that their light should not be hidden under a bushel, but shine out over the world. And since word of the emperor’s edict had spread across the land, there were soon crowds of people straining to catch a glimpse of Hripsime’s now famous beauty. The nuns, whose only wish was to have a holy and solitary life, offered up constant prayers and lamentations to God.
Trtad heard from those who saw her that she was indeed a great beauty. He sent a golden litter with attendants and filled with magnificent robes so that Hripsime could adorn herself and come to meet him in the palace. Seeing all this, the abbess Gayane told the younger woman, “Remember, my child, that you have abandoned your father’s throne (Hripsime was of royal lineage) and longed instead for the never-ending life of the Kingdom of Christ. Do not give up your choice now, and risk your holy virtue with these infidels.”
Inspired by the words of the abbess, Hripsime prayed intently, asking God to protect her as He had protected all the Old Testament people who faced danger. Her sisters prayed with her, and soon they heard a voice like thunder, assuring them of God’s love and care. The thunderous sound caused panic among the throngs of people looking at them.¬ They trampled each other in their confusion. But when King Trtad was told what had happened, he was not at all frightened. He was furious that Hripsime would not come to him, and ordered that she be brought to the palace by force. So she was dragged along, with a great crowd following, and as she went she prayed like Daniel and Susanna that she would be saved from her tormentors.
Trtad, seeing her at last, was enthralled by her beauty and tried with all his great strength to seduce her. But Hripsime, delicate as she was, struggled against him so hard that he could not overcome her. Exhausted by his efforts, he ordered the abbess Gayane to intercede with the young nun and tell her to accept him. But Gayane took the opportunity instead to strengthen Hripsime in her resistance to the king. Trtad’s attendants beat and threatened her, but she persisted in encouraging the younger woman to stand firm and trust in God.
Hripsime did so for many hours, and then finally escaped from the palace. She ran through the city to the nuns’ dwelling place to tell them what had happened. Then she went out from the city to a high, sandy point near the main road to Artashat. There she thanked God for keeping her safe. She prayed that soon she might be allowed to leave the temptations of the world behind and enter, by His mercy, the heavenly realm. She thanked Him for the certainty that if torments were to come, He would be there with her. Hripsime ended her prayer with these words: “Let the light of the Lord God be over us.”
That very night, Trtad’s men came and tortured Hripsime to death. Other followers of Christ were also killed, and so were many of those who came to wrap and bury their bodies. But all of them prayed to God and thanked Him for making them worthy of martyrdom. The king’s men dragged their bodies out and threw them as food for the prowling dogs.
Trtad was unashamed of what he had done. Indeed, his heart was more inflamed against the Christians and especially against Gayane, who had counseled the beautiful Hripsime not to yield to him. He commanded that the abbess should be killed, and so she was taken to the place used for the execution of criminals. But like her companions, Gayane was unafraid, and expressed her wish to join her sisters speedily. She died as they had, with a prayer on her lips.
King Trtad was not an introspective man, and after a week of grieving over Hripsime’s death, he had to have some strenuous activity. He arranged to go hunting, and when the hounds and nets and traps and beaters were all ready, he climbed into his chariot to leave the city for the plain where he loved to hunt.
Suddenly, Trtad fell from the chariot, as if struck down by a demon. He began to rave and grunt, like an animal. As their king was crazed, so all the people suddenly seemed to be, and there was chaos and ruin throughout the city and from the highest to the lowest of the king’s household.
According to Aganthangelos, after Trtad III had the saintly nuns from Rome murdered, he metamorphosed into animal-like behavior and physical features (therianthropy or becoming a beast-man). There is a more specific mental illness called lycanthrophy (wolf-like characteristics) in which a patient believes he has transformed into an animal and behaves accordingly. Trtad III cruel inhuman acts, such as torturing and throwing St. Gregory into the Khor Virab or deep pit and abusing and murdering Gayane, Hripsime and all the other nuns and Christians, caused him to be inflicted with a disorienting mental disorder. This history of Trtad III recalls to memory the story of king Nebuchadnezzar who arrogantly boasted to the prophet Daniel about his greatness as if he was mightier than God. He was afflicted with lycanthropy wherein he believed he had become an animal and gradually his body began to show animal-like features and behavior.
“O king, the Most High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar sovereignty and greatness and glory and splendor. 19 Because of the high position he gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him. Those the king wanted to put to death, he put to death; those he wanted to spare, he spared; those he wanted to promote, he promoted; and those he wanted to humble, he humbled. 20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.” (Daniel 5.18)
Trtad III became a victim of his Roman upbringing with the legacy of Romulus and Remus who were suckled by a wolf and thus imbibed the qualities of a predatory animal. His extremely cruel behavior culminated in his mental and physical transformation into a animal-like being somewhat resembling a wolf. Many people living in his royal city, Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), were also afflicted in the same way as their king. Trtad III sister, Khosrovitookt, had a vision that Gregory, who was thrown into the Khor Virab, could save them from the affliction. Gregory was lifted out of the pit.
It was a miracle that he survived thirteen years in such a filthy pit. He was cleaned, dressed in new clothes and rushed to the royal town where he was approached by Trtad III who beged forgiveness. Gregory prayed to Jesus Christ to release of the king and the residents of Vagharshapat of their affliction. The saint sought the remains of the martyred nuns and had their bodily remains enshrouded and taken to their former dwelling place where he prayed continually until the next day for the salvation and repentance of the Armenians. For sixty five days, Gregory instructed the king and a large number of residents of the royal city about Christ and the Biblical histories and the lives of the Christian saints. In Gregory’s presence, the king and his people felt relief from their afflictions but not complete cure. On the sixty sixth day, Gregory revealed a vision he had of the murdered nuns who appeared where they were martyred. Aganthangelos’ description follows
Gregory said, “One night I heard a fearful thunderous sound like roaring sea waves. The firmament of heaven opened, and a man descended in the form of light. He called my name; I looked up and saw him and fell to the ground, struck by terror. But he commanded me to look up and see great wonders.
I did look up, and saw the firmament opened with the waters above it divided as is the firmament itself. The waters were like valleys and mountaintops, with infinite expanses that went far out of sight. Light flowed down to the earth, and the light was filled with shining two-winged creatures, human in appearance and with wings like fire. Their leader was a tall and fearful man who carried a golden hammer. He flew down near the ground in the middle of the city, and struck the earth. The rumbling sounded even in the depths of hell, and as far as the eye could see the earth was struck as level as a plain.
I saw him in the middle of the city, near the palace, a circular base of gold as big as a hill, with a column of fire on it. On top of the column was a capital of clouds, and above that a cross of light. There were three other bases at the sites where St. Gayane and St. Hripsime were martyred, and one near the wine press where the nuns lived. These bases were blood-red, and they had columns of clouds and capitals of fire. From the columns, marvelous vaults fitted into one another and above this was a dome-shaped canopy of clouds. Under the canopy were thirty-seven holy martyrs in shining light. I cannot even describe them.
At the summit of all this was a wonderful throne of fire with the Lord’s cross above it. Light spread out in every direction from it. And an abundant spring gushed forth, flowing over and filling the plains as far as one could see. They made a vast bluish sea, the color of heaven. There were numerous fiery altars shining like stars, with a column on each altar and a cross on each column.
There were herds of black goats, which when they passed through the water became sparkling white sheep. They gave birth to more sheep, filling the land. But some of these crossed to the other side of the water and became brown wolves which attacked the flocks. But the flocks grew wings and flew up to join the shining host, and a torrent of fire carried away the wolves.
I stood amazed at this sight. And the man who had earlier called my name and said, ‘Why do you stand gaping? Pay attention to what is being revealed to you. The heavens have been opened! Here is what the vision means. The voice like thunder is the beginning of God’s mercy raining down upon mankind. The gates of heaven are opened, and also the waters above them. There is nothing to keep us mortals from rising up, for those who were martyred here have made a path for others.
The light filling the land is the preaching of the Gospel, and the fearsome man is the providence of God, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke, as the psalm tells us. This fear of God has flattened and destroyed error on the earth.
The golden base is God’s true Church, gathering all His people, and the shining cross above it is Christ Himself. The three blood-red bases are the martyrs’ torments. But the columns of cloud show how quickly they will rise to heaven at the universal resurrection. The capital is fiery because they will love in the fire of divine light. And the crosses show that they are fellow sufferers with their lord Christ.
The vaults joining the columns show the unity of the Church, and the cloud canopy above shows the gathering place of all believers, the celestial city. The throne, above which the whole structure is held together, is almighty God, the head of the Church. The shining light around the throne is the Holy Spirit, who glorifies the Son. The spreading waters are the grace of the Spirit, which will save many through baptism and make earth like heaven (that is why the plains became the color of heaven.) The herds of goats are sinners, washed clean by God’s mercy, and worthy of His Kingdom. The flocks of sheep give birth because many generations will hear the preaching of the Word; but the flocks that became wolves are like those who depart from the truth. They lead sheep astray with their falsehoods. But the sheep that endure will rise to Christ’s Kingdom, and the wolves will be handed over to eternal fire.’”
Gregory continued, ‘And when he had told me the vision’s meaning, he said to be strong because I had a great task. I was to build a temple to God on the place where the gold base had been shown to me, and the martyrs’ chapels in the places where they suffered and died. After he told me all this, there was an earthquake, and I could see him no more.
God showed me this vision of the future so that I could do His will among you. Let us go now and build the chapels, giving the martyrs rest.’
“So all the people took up tools, and gathered materials, and set to work. Gregory himself took the architect’s measuring line and laid out the foundations. They built three chapels, and made a casket for each saint’s body. After Gregory had sealed the caskets, the king and people brought sweet oils and incense and rich robes. But Gregory said, ‘I am glad to see you honor these saints. But do not offer gifts to the holy ones until you have been purified by baptism. One day, we shall use all these beautiful things to adorn God’s altar. But until true worship is established in this land, let them remain in the royal treasury.’
The time had come for the king and all the people to be completely freed from their tormenting demons. Gregory knelt by the saints’ caskets and prayed for Trtad and all the rest. Then he turned to the king, and by Christ’s grace cured his hands and feet enough so that he was able with his own hands to dig graves and bury the caskets in them. His wife Ashkhen and sister Khosrovitookht helped him to arrange the places. With his prodigious strength Trtad carried stones from Mount Massis to make thresholds for the chapels.
When the chapels were ready, the martyrs were laid to rest in them. Gregory placed a cross in front of each, and told the people that the proper place for worship was in front of that saving sign of Jesus Christ. Then he took them to build a high wall around the place where the golden base had been revealed, for that was to be the site of the Lord’s house. There too, a cross was placed so that people could worship God truly.
Gregory could see that the people were willing to heed his words, give up idol worship, and give themselves to study, fasting, and prayer. He gathered them to pray together for healing, and as they all prayed, the king was fully restored to his human appearance, and the people were freed from their various afflictions. The news of this wonder spread through the land, inspiring people everywhere to come to Ayrarat and hear about Jesus Christ, and learn how to live as He calls us to do.
Gregory then asked the king for permission to overthrow and destroy the pagan shrines and temples. Trtad readily issued an edict entrusting Gregory with this task, and himself set out from the city to destroy shrines along the highways. Together the men worked feverishly, and they distributed the temple treasures among the poor. In all the cities he visited, Gregory marked sites for Christian churches, but because he did not hold the rank of priest he did not erect any altars. At each place he set a cross, and he also placed crosses along roads and at squares and intersections.
Trtad and his family members were then thoroughly instructed in the faith by Gregory. When they had all been convinced to worship the only true God, Gregory and Trtad began traveling to other parts of the country to instruct the people and to destroy the altars of the false gods. In many of the provincial towns, demons in the form of armed soldiers fought against the evangelist’s efforts. They were put to flight each time, and then Gregory would tell the people not to be afraid, but to drive out their own personal demons of false worship, and follow Christ. He performed miracles to show the people how loving and powerful God is. And the king gave testimony about his sinful acts, and the miracles and mercy of healing which God had shown him.
So they traveled through the provinces and everywhere they spread the light of the Gospel and destroyed the dark pagan superstitions which had held the people captive.
After they returned to Vagharshapat, Trtad called together all his courtiers and the leaders from every corner of the land. The king wanted to make Gregory their pastor, so that everyone could be baptized and begin in earnest to live the new life in Christ. Gregory protested his unworthiness, but Trtad had a wonderful vision from God urging him to carry out his plan, and the angelic vision also appeared to Gregory, telling him not to thwart it. So Gregory said: ‘Let God’s will be done.’
Trtad then chose some of the leading princes to take Gregory to Caesarea, in Cappadocia, with an edict for the bishop Leontius. The edict gave the whole history of Armenia’s pagan worship, the suffering of the nuns, Gregory’s witness and work among the people, and the king’s own desire to have Gregory be the spiritual leader of Armenia.
The group set off with Gregory in a royal carriage, taking along gifts for each of the churches they would pass. They were welcomed heartily in the land of the Greeks, who rejoiced to hear of God’s miracles and the great conversion which had taken place. When the men reached Caesarea, Gregory was duly ordained, and the bishops laid their hands on him and prayed for him. He, too, was now consecrated as a bishop for God’s church.
With joyous and loving farewells, the nobles and Gregory set out for home, and as they stopped at various towns, Gregory persuaded some good Christian men to return with him and be ordained to serve the people. In all the towns, crowds of people gathered to see the new bishop pass, and to receive his blessing.”
Very similar to Daniel in the Old Testament, Gregory has a vision or a dream and gives an elaborate description and interpretation that presages the future. The establishment of the foundation of Christianity in Armenia will be the place where the Roman nuns were martyred. The purity of the nun’s sacrifice of their lives for Jesus Christ is a sort of re-enactment of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on Golgotha. His blood became the purifying elixir for the salvation of humanity. The places where the nun’s sacrificed their lives and blood and were laid to rest by Gregory with the help of Trtad III and his family become the holiest places for Armenian Christians. It should be noted that the main characters in this history are nuns who were not Armenian although they have been canonized as Armenian saints, Gregory whose parents were Parthians and who was raised in a Greek Christian environment and who married a very pious woman most probably of Greek descent, and Trtad III whose father was of Parthian ancestry and whose upbringing was entirely under Roman influence. This may help us to understand why the Christian conversion of Armenia lead to the systematic destruction of almost all pre-Christian Armenian temples with their deities, libraries and in many cases the murder of pagan priests. It was perpetrated with complete disdain for all pre-Christian Armenian culture and history. As a side note, this same disdain seems to be exercised today. See the following recent communication decrying the Armenian Church’s opposition to declaring Armenian National Identity Day be associated with the 5th Century BC victory of Hayk triumphant over Bel.
“As it is well-known, recently, a draft law was presented to the National Assembly aimed at making amendments to the ‘Concerning Republic of Armenia Holidays’ to declare August the 11th – the day Hayk triumphed over Bel – ‘Armenian National Identity Day,’ while the holiday’s preceding five days would be declared Navasardyan Games Days.
The draft law, in its initial form was debated and accepted at the first reading. It appeared that the bill will soon be put in its final form and ratified by the National Assembly and finally our Holiday Calendar will include a truly Nationalistic holiday, a holiday truly coming from the nation’s essence and ratified by law (All the other holidays ratified by the National Assembly are not as such, they are ecclesiastical or state-political holidays).
But the Armenian apostolic church is not asleep, so that the NA stand steadfast by its decision and reward the Nation with an Identity Day ratified by the assembly itself. According to trustworthy and reliable sources, the church is categorically against declaring National Identity Day- the day Armenia Triumphed. According to them, as it is well-known, the Armenian Identity derives from 301 AD, before then, the Armenian as such, and Armenia as such did not exist, hence, what kind of a National Identity Day can anyone dare talk about? The church is for the abstract formulation of Navasartyan Holiday which should be celebrated not on the day of the Victory, but on the day of a certain religious holiday. Well, if the church is against , how dare the National Assembly. If the state by its own free will (through some other bill) is preparing to become a theocracy, then who is capable of taking steps independently, that would be beneficial to the Nation?
It is not by accident, that the church, immediately after hearing the news about the self-willed initiative by the NA, got excited and took alarm and is doing everything it can to bring the Deputies of the National Assembly back to their senses. Furthermore, the church has mobilized the pitiful Armenian intellectuals which are under its influence . The latter are bringing all kinds of absurd, senseless, ridiculous proofs and evidences – namely, Hayk was a Christian, long before Jesus was born, hence, his victory should be celebrated as a victory for Christianity! Or prior to the year 301AD, the Armenians didn’t exist, hence, Armenian Identity ( Identity Day) should be linked to the spread of Christianity, which was achieved with Grigory’s fire and sword. Or Armenian Identity should be linked to the translation of foreign books (Holy Translators Day) and other ridiculous proofs.
In this regard, let’s clarify once and for all, that our glorious ancestor Hayk, was one of our Arian-Heathen patriarchs and bears no relation to Christianity and the more so, has nothing to do with Jehovah worshipping. Hayk’s victory was the continuation of His forefathers’ victories that periodically restore and re-establish The Law of Armenian Gods in Armenians cradle.
Not to devalue further the muppet-show actors mentioned above, let’s return to Republic of Armenia’s National Assembly.
The Armenian Nationalists Union believes that this is a good opportunity for the National Assembly to manifest itself as being the National Assembly, and to express its willingness as being the upholder and the guardian of the national traditions.
Otherwise, we will be convinced even more that the NA has got nothing to do with the national life of Armenians and is a body which creates and passes laws (Concerning Holidays as well) which do not serve the Armenian interests and reality and continuous to adopt enactments which serve the re-evaluation of a foreign identity upon us, and continuous to follow the Ecumenical Movement’s adopted document, thus, serving the faith and the interests of the chosen people.”
Armenian Nationalists Union Council, 18 March 2009
To understand the extent of this disdain for pre-Christian Armenian heritage, we can examine what Vahan Kurkjian has written in his History of Armenia
“The conversion of the nation was not accomplished without great difficulty; the pagan priests, possessors of vast fortunes, were politically and economically powerful. They had since the earliest times wrung profit from the people by every possible act and circumstance. Gregory, backed by Trdat, found little trouble in converting some districts whose inhabitants yielded peacefully to the change. But in others pagan communities, which were more recalcitrant, the bishop (Gregory), accompanied by the principal nakharars and their soldier-serfs, used force, destroying idols, demolishing the pagan temples and slaying priests who opposed the conversion.. According to the ancient historian, Zenob of Glak, the resistance was violent in the district of Taron and the territory of Palouniq. In the great burgh of Kissaneh, a real battle took place between the army of the pagan priests and that of the Armenian kingdom of Trtad. Gregory gave the order to pull down the idol of Kissaneh (Krishna), which was of copper and twelve arms’ lengths in height. The pagan priests fought fanatically, crying, ‘Let us die before the great Kissaneh be destroyed.’ ‘This spot,’ says Zenob, ‘was the gate of demons, whose number was as large at Kissaneh as in the depths of hell,’ and who cried out, ‘Even if you should drive us away from here, there shall never be rest for those who wish to domicile here.’”
But, while Gregory was aiming at the conversion of the people and the annihilation of paganism, the nakharars were thinking of the riches and land they could expropriate from the pagan temples.
‘The following day, (after the fight at the temple of Kissaneh), says Zenob, ‘a pagan priest was brought to the Prince of Sewniq (one of Gregory’s noble escorts). He was pressed to reveal the place where the treasures were hidden; he refused and died on the gibbet in torture. It has been impossible to discover the treasures since.’
As to the lands belonging to the pagan sanctuaries, each of the new churches received a share of them. ‘After having laid the foundation of the church,’ says Zenob, ‘and deposited therein the relics, St. Gregory erected the wooden sign of the Cross of the Lord at the very gate, on the site of the idol Kissaneh, and left Anthony and Gronites to manage the church. He appointed Epiphanes as the superior of the monastery, giving him forty-three monks and assigning him twelve villages for the support of the establishment.
In all, the villages assigned to the new clergy contained 12,298 houses and could muster an army of 5,470 cavalry and 3,807 infantry. All these villages had long been appropriated to the service of the idols. Armenian chroniclers, themselves zealous champions of the new religion, attribute to Trdat and Gregory many acts of violence during the establishment of Christianity, and maltreatment of the pagan priests and their adherents, deepening the bitterness of feeling between the two factions.’”
Vahan Kurkjian is getting his information from the descriptions of Zenob of Glak, a Syrian priest who was one of the earliest students of St. Gregory the Illuminator. He wrote a history of the conversion of Armenia to Christianity entitled “History of Taron.” He accompanied St Gregory and the nakharars who were Armenian princes with their armed soldiers. Taron was an important province of ancient Armenia that was on the western bank of Lake Van and included the areas of modern Moush and Sasoun. It is a district of hills and plains on the upper Euphrates River. It adjoined the country later settled by the illustrious Mamigonian clan who were supposed to have migrated there from China in the 3rd century AD. Zenob pays particular attention to the Hindu colony that existed in Armenia since the middle of the 2nd century BC until the end of the 4th century AD. Zenob wrote his history in Syriac and it was later translated into Armenian. It was printed in Armenian by the Mekhitarist Fathers in 1832.
According to Zenob, two Hindu princes, named Gissaneh, which was probably the Greek pronunciation for the Vedic Supreme God Krishna, and Demeter, the Greek equivalent for a female deity (Earth-Mother or goddess of grain and fertility) which was most probably reminiscent Rukmini devi, an expansion of Laxmi devi, who is worshipped with Lord Krishna as His eternal consort in Dwarka, fled from the area of Kanauj in northern India not far from Mathura and Vrindaban. They were embroiled in a plot against the king of Kanauj named Dinaksi. They found refuge in Armenia in 149 BC. They were accorded safe haven by King Valarsaces who offered them land in the province of Taron, which is near the western banks of Lake Van. The princes settled in Ashtishat which was a religious center in ancient Armenia famous for its temple of the goddess Anahit and other national gods of Armenia. They erected temples to their god and goddess which they worshipped in India and maintained Hindu priests for their worship. Due to some conflict, the Hindu leaders Gissaneh and Demeter were put to death. The Armenian king gave their sons permission to establish their own villages. One son named Kuars built a village called Kuars, his brother named Meghtes built a village called Meghti and the other brother built a village named Horeans in another province called Paloonies. Later, the brothers built two temples near the Hindu villages close to the mountain Karki (or Kharkh). They installed two deities which were made of brass. One was Krishna and the other Rukmini (an expansion of Laxmi). The priests that cared for the deities were all Hindus. After some time, twenty Hindu villages were built and their population reached 15,000. These villages flourished for 450 years until Christianty became the state religion of Armenia and the Hindus were either forced to convert or were killed.
During the period of Greek, Roman and Persian influence over Armenia before the dominance of Christianity, the Armenians were able to adopt and adapt their various gods so that there was little religious conflict with their neighbors. The Armenian gods were for the most part syncretized versions of Indo-Iranian gods and Greek and Roman gods. The Hindu gods were accepted during the pre-Christian times by the Armenian kings. But with the rise of Christianity and its Judeo-Christian bias, a troubling element of intolerance became the standard as evinced by St.Gregory’s absolute rejection of any other form of worship except Christianity. This led to future wars with the Persians who feared the establishment of Christianity in Armenia. Later, with the rise of Islam, a Judeo-Semitic religion, the same spirit of intolerance was manifested by the Arabs over the Christian Armenians. To further compound the plight of the Armenians, the Armenian Orthodox church developed doctrinal differences with the Greek and Roman churches. This caused more difficulties and suffering and eventually was a factor in the fall of successive Armenian kingdoms to different groups of invading Arabs and Turks. . With the rise of Christianity in Armenia, the Hindu gods shared the same fate as the Armenian pre-Christian gods.
Zenob was a witness to the campaign against the Hindus in Taron. He writes:
“And having taken our departure from there (Thordan), we intended to proceed to Karin and Harkh, but some of the Armenian princes informed St.Gregory of the existence of two temples in the province of Taron which still offered sacrifices to the devils, whereupon he resolved to demolish them. Having arrived in the country of the Paloonies, in the extensive village, called Gissaneh, near the village town of Kuars, we met there some of the heathen priests. Having ascertained from the Hindu prince of Hashtents that the great images of Gissaneh and Demeter were to be leveled to the ground on the following day, they [Hindus] returned to the temples in the dead of the night and removed the treasures and filled them into subterraneous houses.”
The Indian Head priest buried the statues of the Hindu gods, hid the treasures of the temples, and then informed the priests of Ashtishat to gather armed forces and come for help. The following day heathen Armenians joined the Indians and a fierce battle took place. The heathens suffered a defeat. The six Hindu priests who worshipped the deities in the two temples were murdered by the Armenian soldiers and thrown into a deep pit.
After the battle a monument was raised in the Innagnian Mountains near the Hindu villages which bore the following inscription:
“The first battle, which was fought very fiercely. Artzan [Arjun], the head priest, the Chief Commander of the battle, lies interred here, and with him one thousand and thirty eight men. We waged this war on account of the idol Gissaneh and on behalf of Christ.”
On the site of the two Hindu temples, St Gregory constructed a monastery, which was named Sourp Garabed (St. John the Baptist). He deposited the relics of St. John the Baptist (some of his bodily parts) and Athanagineh the Martyr, which he had brought from Caesaria. Because of St. John the Baptist’s reputed healing powers, the monastery in his name became one of the most popular pilgrimage sites for all Armenians who sought healing and salvation.
Dr. Mesrob Jacob Seth has written an interesting article entitled “Hindoos in Armenia” published by the Armenian Chruch committee of Calcutta in 1982. He writes about the forced conversion of the Hindus living in Taron at the time of St. Gregory’s campaign about 301 AD.
“Some of these converted Hindoos adhered tenaciously to the idolatrous practices of their forefathers, despite the paternal persuasions and the exhortations of St.Gregory. They went even further and taunted the Armenian princes by telling them that if they lived they would retaliate for the harsh treatment they had received at their hands, but if they died, the gods would wreak their vengeance on the Armenians on their behalf.
At this, the prince of the house of Angegh ordered them to be taken immediately to the city of Phaitakaran where they were incarcerated and their heads shaved as an insult and a sign of degradation. These prisoners numbered four hundred. From the narrative of Zenob, the Syrian, it appears that the Hindu colony had, since their settlement in Armenia in the year 150 B.C. to the day of the memorable battle in the year 301 A.D. a period of 450 years, multiplied and increased considerably and formed a distinct and an important colony of their own in the fertile province of Taron where in the year 286 A.D. a Chinese colony had also settled under Mamigon, the founder of the house of Mamigonian which gave Vardan to Armenia, who fought the Sassanians when they wanted to force the religion of Zoroaster on Christian Armenia in the year 451 A.
On the restoration of peace between the Armenians and the Hindus, the Armenian prince of the house of Siunies proceeded to the Hindu village of Kuars and succeeded in persuading the inhabitants of that place to renounce idolatry and embrace the Christian faith which had now became the State religion. His efforts were crowned with success and they were prepared for baptism, and being conducted to the valley of Ayzasan they were baptized by St. Gregory.
According to Zenob, who as I have said was a disciple of the Apostle of Armenia, and an eye-witness of the events he narrates, the Hindues that were baptized on the first day of Navasard, (the ancient Armenian New Year day) numbered 5,050 and these were composed of men and children only, as the females were, it appears excluded from that number and baptized on another day specially appointed for the occasion.”
Zenob has chronicled that the Hindu priests who were murdered before the destruction of their temples warned the Armenian naxarars, “the gods would wreak their vengeance on the Armenians on their behalf.” Some of the Hindus who were forced to convert, but retained their Hindu practices warned, “Even if you should drive us away from here, there shall never be rest for those who wish to domicile here.” I believe this is the origin of a curse or dark cloud that has plagued the Armenian people since those fateful days of the forced conversion to Christianity.
There is a very interesting short story written by Sempad Der Kerope Shahnazarian called “The Symphony of Our Soil.” I recently spoke to his son Arsen Shahnazarian. He told me that his father was born in Moush which is near the monastery of St Garabed. His grandfather was a monk in that monastery. His father was the priest of the Armenian church in Moush. Sempad Der Kerope Shahnazarian was a student in the monastery of St Garabed in his youth. Therefore, the story he relates is not completely fictional. There are some historical elements of the story that are truthful such as the existence of a pit inside the monastery where it is said that the Hindu priests were thrown after they were murdered. We also know that the Hindu priests of Krishna’s temple hid the deities of Krishna and Rukmini and the valuable treasures of the temple before the Armenians came to pillage and destroy them. It is very possible that these relics are still buried deep under the remains of St. Garabed Monastery.
The following is an excerpt from Shahnazarians short story.
“One Sunday morning, mass was being held in the chapel of Sourp Haroutune. This little chapel had been built seventeen hundred years before on the ruins of the pagan temples Demetre and Kissane.
That chapel was the nucleus around which had grown, through the long centuries, the imposing Saint John Monastery which was surrounded by fortress-like walls. During the mass, Avedis remembered the day when he entered school there. He remembered how one of the monks walked with him to the chapel. The door was locked so he approached one of the slit-like windows on the mossy wall and said; ‘Put your ears here and listen.’
He placed his right ear against the window and listened.
‘Do you hear anything?’
Avedis wasn’t quite sure if he had heard anything special yet.
‘Listen intently and concentrate. Can’t you hear voices now, that seem to come from far away?’
Somewhat hesitatingly, Avedis thought this time he seemed to hear some sort of whisperings; faint, blurred voices.
‘That’s it! Those voices that you hear come from the bottomless pit where Gregory the Illuminator had thrown the Pagan monks and nuns after they were defeated by the Christian Armenians centuries ago.’
Avedis shuddered but kept standing there for awhile with his face against the window listening.
Even now when mass is being celebrated, all of the boy’s curiosity is focused on trying to hear those voices.
Every time the readings and Sharagans stop a deep silence would follow. During that silence he would strain his hearing, tense and in anticipation, to see if he could still hear the same voices, or any voice for that matter, from the underground Hindu monks.
Those were exciting moments for Avedis for he seemed to hear whispers and footsteps crowding the chapel. He even heard them singing with the choir in a different language. Great excitement for Avedis!
When the mass was over, the congregation, composed of a couple dozen monks and students, began moving out in extreme silence.
On his way out Avedis noticed a sign, near the entrance. Which read: Beware! This is the bottomless pit. The abyss. This sharpened his curiosity to the degree that he hid himself in one corner until everybody left, and the key screeched in the keyhole.
He immediately came out of his hiding-place and began to explore the entrance to that historic hole.
He lighted a candle and stepped down cautiously. It looked like a huge cave with the walls and the ceiling hidden in darkness. On his left, he saw a stand where dozens of bricks were arranged like books on a shelf. He approached and scrutinized the writings on them in the pallid candlelight, but couldn’t make out what language it was; he tenderly caressing the earthen books and walked away without being able to penetrate the secrets of that library.
A few steps down on the platform two huge bronze statues of God and Goddesses stood high, firm and silent. Demetre and Kissane.
They had the most mysterious looking eyes which followed him wherever he went. Their hollow and cold depths made him shudder.
While looking at them more closely and calmly, he was filled with a flow of warm sensations. In those eyes he saw the reflection of the magic beauty of Armenia’s mountains and plateaus, ¦the fields and the vineyards, the kings and queens in resplendent procession, the crystalline blue of the sky, the enchanting sunrise of our worshippers¦and he felt an urge to approach them to touch their strong metallic bodies and to kiss their divine hands.
He wanted to get closer because they were actually saying something and he wanted to hear what they were saying. The more he advanced the farther they withdrew. It remained a mystery what they were trying to say to him. They walked silently on the soft dark earth for miles, brushing past the foundations of our mountains and watching the sources of our waterfalls, rivers and springs.
Footsteps were heard in the Moush Plain where the Meghraked and Aradzani rivers rumbled on, dark and furious.
Going through the volcanic passages of Pure-Agn, they entered into a devotional silence. The immense caverns of Mount Ararat where our ancestors had gathered in holiday garments to read their essays on Dialectical Materialism to display their artistic achievements enthusiastically ¦to strongly criticize our naive view of the architecture of Heaven, to disclose the idea of God to be a purely poetical conception unveil their undeniable proof that our universe is soulless and complex “a Mechanical Structure ” and to admit that its eternal beauty consists in the daring flights of imagination and the luminous thunder of symphonies.
On his way back he saw some of our living dead perched here and there on rocks, cliffs, in the craters of extinct volcanoes and the sunny fields far away refusing to go to Heaven but preferring to live on their soil to enjoy its warmth and affection, to hear the voices of their children overhead and to eagerly watch over their dreams, their thoughts, their deeds.
The evening bells of Saint John Monastery shook Avedis out of his day-dream; he crawled out of the pit and into the chapel, opened the door and came out into the bright sunshine.
That night his soul was inundated with new lights and new sensations. Through an opening in the wall the moonbeam rested obliquely on the floor of his cell. Millions of particles danced there like the thoughts in the flashes of his mind. His poor and desolate cell was full of voices now. Whispers, hums and blurred words came to his ears. He tried to sleep but couldn’t. He got up, took the History of Zenop Klag near his cot and scurried through its pages.
He read about the battle between the forces of the Christian and the Pagan Armenians on the Innagnian Mountains. He read it with intense feeling and emotion and stopped at the point where the Pagans were defeated, their temples ransacked and destroyed and the monks were thrown into the bottomless pit.
The description of the battle was so vivid and realistic he could actually hear the whinnying of horses, the groaning of the wounded, the proud shouts of the victorious Christians and the wailing of the defeated Pagans.
He could clearly see the onslaught of the Christian soldiers into the temples; the terror of the monks and nuns, their prayers before the bronze statues, their terrified screams, the bloody swords. He was greatly moved by all of this but in his mental turmoil a question stood high and clear in his mind.
What of it?
The pagans were physically overpowered. Were they defeated?
A superb view of the underground world unveiled itself before his eyes. Fountains of multicolor lights illuminated wide panoramas. Human shadows moving around, conversing, singing, reciting from the fields rapturous music spread out its veils like a golden mist from the vineyards, the wine flowed like rosy poetry in the prairies, the plowshare, with lyric poetry, broke the ground into long furrows which lay parallel like pregnant rays of the sun.
Absorbed in these thoughts, his heart was melting like a burning candle. He felt sparks of meditations sputtering around dark veils of mystery floating in the air, intellectual intoxication pregnant with immortal creations, philosophical struggle in the dark waters of mysteries, colorful bonfire of daring imagination, underground symphonies shaking the mountains into a weird dance.
Who got defeated? The Pagans? Their parchments, and their statues? No they’re not dead. They are inalienable and eternal. They are our sources of inspiration. Some of them have actually returned to their corporal lives.
They are breathing, moving, living and working with us.”
Shahnazarian’s imaginative story, which could very well have been partially autobiographical, affirms the fact that the monastery of St. Garabed near Moush was reputed to be an ancient pre-Christian temple. The Avedis in the story reads the History of Zenob of Glak while residing in the monastery. He literally relives the attack on the Hindu temple by the fanaticized Christian forces. It is possible that the bronze Deities of the Hindu gods are buried underneath the ruins of Saint Garabed monastery waiting to be unearthed.
The ancient city of Troy was discovered to be factual in the 19th century by German-American adventurer Heinrich Schliemann who read the Iliad and imagined that if the story was not fiction but factual then it would be possible to discover the fabled city. He studied ancient maps and determined where the ancient city might be located. His find was one of the greatest archeological finds of history. Similarly, it may be possible to find the remains of a pre-Christian Hindu temple in the area of Moush, Turkey under the crumbled remains of the monastery of St. Garabed (John the Baptist).
The district of Taron is considered the cradle of ancient Armenian identity and history. The area around Lake Van including Moush and Sasoun are the hallowed land where Mesrob Mashdotz was born, Movses Khorenatsi is buried in Arakelots monastery, the island of Aghtamar with its famous monastery in Lake Van, the cave where Narekatzi lived and wrote above Lake Van, etc. But even more importantly, the pre-Christian history of Armenia was also centered near Lake Van and its outlying areas. The epic Sassountzi David took place in the hills of Sasoun and Moush. The history of Ara and Semiramis (c. 1500 BC) took place in the vicinity of Lake Van. Later, Semiramis built a summer palace on the banks of Lake Van. The epic story of Hayk and Bel (c. 2400 BC) ends with the termination of Bel whosed body is thrown into the Hayots Dsor ot the Armenian Cavernous passages through the mountains near Van. Armenians name themselves as Hye and their land as Hayastan after the fabled Hayk. The outside world refers to the Armenians as the Armens named after the epic hero Ara.
To demonstrate the importance of Taron district in Armenian history, I am including a excerpt from an article entitled “A Sketch of Raffi’s Life by Donald Abcarian based on the biography of Raffi, one of the greatest writers of Armenian history, authored by Khachik Samvelian. He writes,
“Having successfully started a school in Salmast, Hagop ( Hagop Mirzayan (1832-1888) whose pen name was Raffi) decided to visit Western Armenia for the first time. Together with a new found friend and colleague, Isahak Der-Abrahamian, he joined the Salmastsi pilgrims on their annual pilgrimage to Saint Garabed monastery in Moush for the Blessing of The Grapes Festival that would take place on the second Sunday of August, 1857. His true motivation was not religious piety but the imperative of acquainting himself with the actual conditions of life in Western Armenia.
It was on this trip that he saw Van for the first time, a deeply moving experience for him since it was the original homeland of his ancestors. The party of pilgrims stopped for a few days in the Aykesdan of Van (the verdant agricultural suburb southeast of the city) before proceeding on to Moush. Hagop took advantage of this time to explore Van and talk to all kinds of people. He wrote feverishly into the night to set his countless thoughts and observations to paper. Very significantly, it was on this trip that he visited Varag monastery and there met Khrimian Hairig for the first time, an experience immortalized in the chapter called “Varag” in his longest novel “Gaidzer.”
The next day the caravan set out again for Moush and St. Garabed’s monastery. But Hagop left the city with a heavy heart. He had come all the way from Salmast to Van to find the conditions of the Armenians there at least as deplorable and hopeless as they were in Salmast and learned of the high numbers of Vanetzis who were deserting their homeland to go to Istanbul for lowly, backbreaking jobs.
The caravan proceeded from Van to Ardamed, where it halted for the night, then through Hayots Tsor (The Canyon of The Armenians), to Mt. Ardos, where it rested once more, then on to Bitlis and Moush. On its approach to Moush, the caravan passed through the ancient village of Hatsmik where Mesrop Mashdots, the originator of the Armenian alphabet, was born. This setting would later be evoked in several chapters of “Gaidzer.” On reaching St. Garabed monastery Raffi attended the Blessing Of The Grapes ceremony with all the other pilgrims on the second Sunday of August.
Before leaving the area of Moush, Raffi first paid his respects at the grave of the great medieval historian Movses Khorenatsi in Arakelots monastery, then joined the caravan to return home. The caravan crossed Hayots Tsor once again, then took the even road north toward Lake Van and the island of Aghtamar with its famous monastery. While Aghtamar was of tremendous historical interest to Hagop, his experience there was far from pleasant, for he ran headlong into the stubborn ignorance and corruptness of monastic life there. The monks took an immediate disliking to this stranger who openly professed his liberal notions on education and cultural advancement. Word got around that he was either a Catholic or a Protestant” or both! One evening, as he was sitting alone on a high rock contemplating the beauty of Lake Van and the surrounding landscape, a group of hostile monks approached with angry shouts and were about to throw him into the lake, but he narrowly escaped their wrath. The rock on which he had been sitting would afterwards become known as “Raffi’s Rock.”
The area of Van and especially Moush and Sasoun was the cradle of ancient pre-Christian Armenian life, culture and national identity. Even today, there are so many folk songs glorifying the Armenian memory of Moush and Sasoun sung and danced to by Armenians who fervently do not want to forget their ancestral homeland.
It is important to turn our attention specifically to aggressive Christianization of Armenia. Although Christianity had converts in Armenia, it was not an important community among the Armenian peasantry and nobles. Once St. Gregory converted Trtad III, a state sponsored coercive conversion began that, in many ways, resembled a colonial conquest of Armenia. The word “colonial” can be pertinently used if we take account of the systematic destruction of all pre-Christian literature and documents in the different temples and monasteries of ancient Armenia. Not only were the pre-Christian temples and shrines destroyed and on top of their foundations Christian Churches were purposely built, but every vestige of written manuscripts of the ancient Armenian civilization was destroyed.
This fanatical determination to completely erase any vestige of Armenian pre-Christian culture and religion may have been due to the fact that St. Gregory was educated in Greek-Roman territory of Caesaria under the influence of Greek Christian priests. His father was of Parthian ancestry (Hellenized Persians) who may or may not have been part of the Armenian branch of the Persian nobility. It was Leontius of Caesarea (a non-Armenian) who made him bishop of the Armenians. Zenob of Glak writes about a letter sent by St. Gregory to his superior Leontius in Caesaria. The Armenian saint asks Leontius to send to Armenia foreign priests and bishops who were either Greek or Assyrian such as Zenob. There were only a few trained Armenian priests at the time of the mass conversion. He promised the priests that came that they could convert the Armenians and also appropriate whatever they found desirable in Armenia which was a rather rich, verdant land especially in the area of Van. St. Gregory’s words were not empty promises. What actually happened was an amazing and aggressive land and wealth grab by the new Armenian Christian Mission of St. Gregory. King Trtad III was able to convince a certain number of loyal naxarars or noble Armenian warrior-class regional and dynastic leaders to use their armed forces to persuade (actually coerce) the Armenian peasantry to abandon their pagan rites and become baptized into the new foreign faith of Christianity.
What we can discern is that the Roman predator nature incarnate in Trtad III combined with the fanaticism of early Christianity which had its roots in the ancient semitic tradition of intolerance for any religion other than its own, melded together. This fierce new religious fervor gave rise to an unprecedented pillage and destruction of Armenia’s pre-Christian cultural heritage. In the “Original Catholic Encyclopedia” there is an article about St. Gregory wherein it says,
“The (pagan) temples were made into churches and the people baptized in thousands. So completely were the remains of the old heathendom effaced that we know practically nothing about the original Armenian religion (as distinct from Mazdeism), except the names of some gods whose temples were destroyed or converted (the chief temple at Ashtishat (in the district of Taron) was dedicated to Vahagn, Anahit and Astlik; Vanatur was worshipped in the North round Mount Ararat, etc.).”
An Armenian writer named Eddie Arnavoudian in an article entitled “The Armenian Conversian to Christianity as Colonial Conquest” writes,
“To permanently subdue its newly conquered population, the Church, like colonial powers in all ages, set out to destroy the intellectual and cultural heritage of pre-Christian Armenia so as to annihilate its historically developed, independent national identity. As a final mark of arrogance, it built its own Churches on `the very ground and with the very same masonry as that of the pagan temples’ it destroyed, copying even their architecture. Further, the Armenian Christian Church became very wealthy almost overnight by expropriating all the villages and farms connected to the wealthy pagan temples on whose sites new churches were built in continuation of cult in the same localities. This quick transformation from the pagan cult to the Christian cult kept the feudal entitlement to exact taxes and other financial privileges in the hands of the new Armenian priesthood.
The Armenian Church also adeptly incorporated many pagan festivals into the church rituals so that the people would feel that the change was not a total rejection of the pre-Christian practices. The Armenian Church adopted the celebration of the blessing of the first harvest of grapes on the same date as the pre-Christian new year called Navasard about the second week of August. Until today, the Armenian Church continues to celebrate pagan festivals that were Christianized and made part of the rituals of the church.
The conversion of Armenia to Christianity was not completed overnight as one may believe. There was opposition by many Armenian people, the priests of the pagan temples, and even naxarars. The suppression of such opponents was brutal. It was conducted under the auspices of St. Gregory and the “foreign priests” that accompanied him. King Trtad III was unrelenting in his resolve to convert the entire Armenian population and destroy all pagan temples. In a few years from 280 AD to 301 AD, the Christian church movement in Armenian went from being a small minority of persecuted believers to a organized movement with a state military capable of forcing large portions of the population to convert to a foreign religion.
In this context, I can ask my question. Is the law of grace that Jesus taught to be applied in one’s personal life or can it be applied by a government with a powerful military? Once Christianity took hold in Armenia, the military power was used to force the common people to convert or else face extermination. This seems to be a contradiction to the words of Jesus and the gentle spirit of Christianity as expressed in the following,
27 “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.â€
Do the means justify the end? In this case, the means appear to be clearly a deviation of the fundamental spirit of Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ. Therefore, an outside influence entered the Armenian Christian practice when there was a transition from a small, persecuted sect to a state sponsored organized religion. This outside influence, at least in the case of Armenia, originated from Trtad’s Roman upbringing and St. Gregory’s Greek, Judeo-Christian education. They were both sons of Persian ancestral royalty, whose families were murdered and were reared from childhood in non-Armenian cultures. I believe this contrary spirit to pure Christian belief and practice has brought a curse on the Armenian people that has had a disastrous effect until today and is still continuing.
To be continued (Please see part 1 – you can access it by typing
“Is there a curse on the Armenian people Part 1″ in the search engine at the top of the page.Published on May 26, 2008 · Filed under: , Curse on Armenian People;
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