A dwindling Christian community: Armenians in Turkey

There is a small but growing number of brave souls in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast who have come to openly embrace their Armenian origins, emboldened by the breaking of the Armenian taboo in Turkey over the past several years and the message of pluralism spread by the Kurdish political movement in the region.

The [descendants of] Islamized Armenians are 100% assimilated. But there is always someone to remind them who they are. They are not fully accepted by either side. At least 1 million people in Turkey’s southeast bear Armenian blood today, even though mixed marriages and natural population growth have diluted Armenian ancestries. The acknowledgement of Armenian roots is a difficult matter since descendants remain strongly bound to Islam and equate Armenianness to Christianity.

The first genocide of the 20th Century occurred when two million Armenians living in Turkey were eliminated from their historic homeland through forced deportations and massacres. After the successful obliteration of the people of historic Armenia, the Turks demolished any remnants of Armenian cultural heritage

More often than not those people are rigid Muslims — a trait they probably developed in order to gain acceptance and dispel suspicion.

The number of Armenian Christians in Turkey is dwindling with estimates suggesting that there are now less than 70,000. This is a people who need prayer as they struggle with issues of identity and faith.

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