Armenia

13 08 2012

Armenia is a small, land-locked, mountainous state, consisting of 3 million people—most of which (94.43%), surprisingly enough, are Christians.

Claim to fame: ‘Armenia was the worlds’ first Christian nation and enjoys a great spiritual legacy of more than 1,700 years of Christianity’ (Operation World, p. 114) 

Historically, the country acted a a sort of buffer between the Turkish, the Russian and the Persian empires. It has rarely been independent over the past 2,500 years. It is situated to the west of Azerbaijan, north of Iran, east of Turkey, and south of Georgia.

The people know too well, a history of Genocide. In 1915-1917, Turkey failed to recognise the Genocide of Armenians, where some 1,500,000 deaths took place. Recalling this event, and thinking history did not matter, the tyrant Adolf Hitler once to his Army commanders, on August 22, 1939:

“Thus for the time being I have sent to the East only my ‘Death’s Head Units’ with the orders to kill without pity or mercy all men, women, and children of Polish race or language. Only in such a way will we win the vital space that we need. Who still talks nowadays about the Armenians?”

With the collapse of communism, however, came religious freedom.  ‘An intimate link between the government and the Armenian Apostolic Church continues, with some minor discrimination against other religious expressions’. (You tend to get that!)

It is a point of great praise and thanks—to the Triune God we know in Christ—for the endurance and survival of the Armenian Church throughout the centuries, amidst bitter opposition. Armenians at home and abroad, are increasingly interested in seeing grand renewal of faith in the land.

Jesus said: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Apparently there is not that much Bible reading done in this land. Pray for it to increase.

Dear Lord, we learn that good relations with neighbours are the key to Armenia’s future. Therefore we pray for ongoing progress in this regard, and for a renewed movement of the Spirit, unveiling the mystery of the gospel to the nearby nations, as they talk, work, live and play – in the same world, together. We pray that forgiveness of neighbouring lands, will win others to the life of grace—known in the Risen power of the crucified, suffering, all-loving Jesus, the Christ—Israel’s Messiah—God’s gracious King, for all nations.

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Also, came across this interesting link:
http://www.panorama.am/en/politics/2012/08/14/Fatwa-Armenians/

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