In W. Asia, bordering on Asia Minor, between the Black and the Caspian Sea and the Taurus and Caucasus Mountains, mainly high tableland. In 1918 the Rep. of Armenia was founded; recognized 1920 by the US, which, however, did not accept a mandate over it. In 1922 part of it, with Azerbaidzhan and Georgia, was incorporated in the Union* of Soviet Socialist Reps., but much of former Armenia is now part of Turkey. Area of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic: 11,306 sq. mi.;
Religion of Armenia originally much like that of Persia; sun and moon revered; male and female temple prostitutes. Christianity penetrated into this country early, probably from Antioch. Through the efforts of Gregory* the Illuminator, Christianity replaced paganism as the nat. ch. Ca. 420 the Bible was tr. into Armenian. The Armenians maintained their religion despite strenuous efforts of Zoroastrians and Turks to impose their beliefs by unspeakable persecutions, even in recent times. Armenians accept a strict Monophysite doctrine. Head of the Armenian Ch. is the catholicos or supreme patriarch, elected by nat. council, residing at Echmiadzin; 2 lower patriarchs at Jerusalem and Constantinople. Colonies of Armenians are found in most larger cities in the world; usually remain faithful to their religion. Many emigrated to Am., esp. after the Turkish massacres near the beginning of this c., settling largely in the San Joaquin Valley, California See also Abdul Hamid II; Armenian Churches; Monophysitism; Nonchalcedonian Churches.
Prot. miss. work was begun 1820 in Armenia by the ABCFM. (See also Dodd, Edward Mills) The Presb. Ch. followed in 1870. Robert Coll., Istanbul, was begun 1863 by Cyrus Hamlin; the Am. Coll. for Girls was est. 1871 at Scutari. OHS
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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