Faith that never ended

Gayana Parsegova, Opinion editor

When people think of genocide, oftentimes the first thought that comes to mind is innocent civilian lives being taken by evil powers. Without a doubt, this should be the first point considered whenever a genocide is spoken of, however, many times we cease to understand the effects post genocide.

Orphanages opened at an all time high. Specifically, evacuations to Jerusalem were being prepared throughout the end of the period of the Armenian Genocide. In 1922, hundreds of orphans were brought into Jerusalem and welcomed by the Archbishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

The Armenian people were known for their faith. The country was the first to formally accept Christianity as a state religion in the year 301 A.D. This faith is something that Armenians wear on their sleeves. Churches are prevalent all throughout present day Armenia, in fact, the city of Ani is nicknamed “the city of 1001 churches.” This nickname might’ve been coined for obvious reasons.

However, many of the churches that existed in Ani at one point, are no longer existent. They’ve been destroyed and ransacked by preparators over the past few centuries. Ani was located in Western Armenia, however, after 1921 during the time of the genocide, the Turks took captivity of not only this city, but more than 10 cities, capturing the majority of Western Armenia territory. Ani is now a Turkish military zone, and no longer the land that held the most churches.

Soghomon Soghomonian, an Armenian priest more commonly known as Komitas Vardapet, was the pioneer of music in the Armenian church. He brought songs both joyful and heart wrenching to the Armenian people and most notably, Vardapet introduced hymns to the Divine Liturgy of the Armenian church. He was one of the many intellectuals who was taken captive in 1915 only to be later saved by ambassadors from the United States. However, his perception of the world changed quite a bit after witnessing the horrors of captivity. Witnessing the heads of fellow Armenians being chopped off like swine in a slaughter factory, drove Vardapet to a heart wrenching state.

Although the faith of the Armenian people could have been something that may have been destroyed along with the lives of many during the time of the Genocide, our faith is something that we preserve with humility. Armenians walked into their deaths with faith knowing their God is not a silent God, and although the lives of many were brought to horrific endings, these endings were the start to new beginnings in the eternal kingdom established by the savior of these people, Jesus Christ.

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos