April 24, 2005

The Forgotten Genocide

This post stays on top today.

Today, April 24th, is the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.

I have so many things to say, so many emotions, I will say just two:

First, why is it that so many Americans know nothing of a genocide that killed nearly as many as Hitler's reign of terror over the Jews in Europe? Like the Jews, the Christian Armenians were pursued and killed by the Muslim turks for no reason other than their religion. It was wholesale slaughter. Men, and young boys were murdered outright, women, girls, and the elderly were forced to march for miles. Most died along the way. Armenian girls were sold into slavery in turkish homes and were raped by turkish soldiers. Yet almost no one here knows the story...

Second, a personal story. My father's stepmother was already a widow with 7 children at the time of the genocide. Her children were young, but not babies. She knew that they would never survive without some kind of plan. So she disguised herself and her children as turkish arabs, and moved from town to town posing as an arab widow. She made what little living she could scrape together by sewing for wealthy turkish families, all the while hiding her true identity. Over the course of a couple of years she and her children crossed turkey on foot, and eventually came under the protection of some Christian arabs who helped them escape to Lebanon. Eventually, they made their way to France, and some of them, including my father's stepmother, made it to the US.

Their sacrifice deserves to be remembered.
For more on the genocide, go here and here.

Posted by caltechgirl at April 24, 2005 11:42 PM

What an amazing story. Thank you for posting on this and bringing it to the forefront for today.

Posted by: Boudicca at April 24, 2005 11:00 PM

Since I'm from Fresno, I went to school with a lot of people whose family histories included similar stories. When I was a teenager, I met a few elderly people who had gone through the Genocide as children. I agree that we can't afford to let this history be forgotten.

Posted by: Peter Sean Bradley at April 25, 2005 12:41 PM

There isn't the media attention because current climate has the media at odds with Christians, even while many claim to be.

The genocide in the Sudan and Malaysia are also horrific. Voice of the Martyrs covers these issues well in their publications, while their Web site is quite poor. http://www.persecution.com

I'm heard somewhere that more Christians have died in this century than all the previous centuries combined. Found it, here's the quote:

"Millions of American Christians pray in their churches each week, oblivious to the fact that Christians in many parts of the world suffer brutal torture, arrest, imprisonment and even death—their homes and communities laid waste—for no other reason than that they are Christians. The shocking, untold story of our time is that more Christians have died this century simply for being Christians than in the first nineteen centuries after the birth of Christ. They have been persecuted and martyred before an unknowing, indifferent world and a largely silent Christian community." ---Nina Shea, Freedom House (human rights organization), International human rights lawyer

Posted by: Paladin at April 25, 2005 03:11 PM