Armenian church rises from ruins 100 years after genocide – Telegraph.co.uk

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Armenian church rises from ruins 100 years after genocide – Telegraph.co.ukby wpjljron.Armenian church rises from ruins 100 years after genocide – Telegraph.co.ukNow, just one man from those original Armenian Orthodox families remains. Turkey protests to Pope Francis after he brands Armenian killings ‘genocide’ Why Turkey won’t talk about the Armenian genocide However, emboldened by the change of heart of the Kurds, and greater freedoms allowed to all minorities in modern, more democratic Turkey, residents with Armenian […]

Now, just one man from those original Armenian Orthodox families remains.

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However, emboldened by the change of heart of the Kurds, and greater freedoms allowed to all minorities in modern, more democratic Turkey, residents with Armenian ancestry are starting to come forward.

Gaffur Turkay, a spokesman for the local community, whose grandfather was rescued with his brother by a local Kurdish family and was brought up Muslim, says that he is one of 20 or so part-Armenians who have gone so far as to reconvert to Christianity. So has one of his seven brothers and sisters – but the others remain Muslim, along with his father, who recently completed the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca.

For many part Armenians, torn between faiths and ethnic identity, still subject to discrimination as descendants of “Kaffirs” as some are still called, these are sensitive matters.

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The church now holds services again, held by a priest who flies in from Istanbul, where a community of around 60,000 Armenian Christians remains.

However they are a tip of the iceberg of the number of “hidden Armenians” who are now starting to admit their ancestry. Hundreds of thousands of residents of eastern Turkey who consider themselves Kurdish in both culture and religion are thought to be descended from survivors of the massacres.

Up to 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks in the genocide of 1915. The map below shows the areas where massacres took place – the larger the circle, the greater the number of those killed.

Data from Armenian National Committee of America

Source Article from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/armenia/11558118/Armenian-church-rises-from-ruins-100-years-after-genocide.html

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