To Baptize or Not to Baptize the ‘Hidden Armenians’

Along with the many high points experienced during the historic Armenia trip of the 80 “hidden Armenians” from Turkey, there were also a few low points. The highs included warm welcomes by both Armenian government officials and common people on the street, emotional triumphs at Sardarabad, feelings of grief at the Genocide Memorial and Museum, new-found friendships, accomplishments like spelling the alphabet during Armenian-language classes, and simply being able to order food in Armenian at a restaurant. However, I want to point out a few of the lows our hidden Armenians encountered—all related to baptism.

From our group, two girls from Dersim and a young man from Diyarbakir wished to be baptized. Unfortunately, at the end of the day, their wish did not come true.

Diyarbakir Armenians baptized at Etchmiadzin in August 2014 (Photo by Gulisor Akkum/The Armenian Weekly)
Diyarbakir Armenians baptized at Etchmiadzin in August 2014 (Photo by Gulisor Akkum/The Armenian Weekly)

In recent days, the Armenian media—both in the Armenian Diaspora and in Armenia—ran headline news and opinion pieces on this topic. Various individuals gave press conferences; people opined on TV; statements were released by the church, government, diasporan organizations, and political parties; and heated debates on social media argued both for and against the decision to refuse the baptisms.

As the organizer of the group whose three members wished to be baptized, and as the designated godfather—or “gnkahayr”—for these baptisms, I would like to provide a first-hand account of what really happened, why it happened, and what we should do to avoid such scandals in the future.

One may recall that during the trip I organized last year for the 50 hidden Armenians from Diyarbakir to Armenia, we witnessed the baptisms of a man and a woman in Etchmiadzin. The man was a teacher in a public school in Diyarbakir. Because Christians are not allowed to work in the public sector in Turkey—not even as a garbage collector, let alone a teacher—he took a great risk by converting to Christianity. He was prepared for it; and I am happy to report that he is still employed as a teacher. This year, he brought his son to Armenia to extend,to the next generation, this process of returning to one’s Armenian roots. The woman baptized last year, on the other hand, had an even greater challenge. Her husband, a devout Muslim Kurd, had forbidden her from taking such a step. She nevertheless decided to convert to Christianity to keep her promise to her hidden Armenian father, who had asked her to become a Christian Armenian on his deathbed. I am also pleased to report that she and her husband are still happily married, and are now bravely facing the challenge of how to raise their child together—whether as an Armenian, a Kurd, a Christian, or a Muslim.

Participants of this year's trip at Dzidzernagapert
Participants of this year’s trip at Dzidzernagapert

Therefore, this year, when three members of our group approached me with their wish to be baptized, I thought—perhaps naively—that I could again go ahead and arrange the baptisms for the day we visited Etchmiadzin. The two Dersimtsi girls would take the names Anahit and Nairi, and the Dikranagerdtsi man from Diyarbakir would become Madteos Paramaz. One of the Dersim girls had a brother who was already baptized last year. The Dikranagerdtsi man was a distant relative of the family involved in the reconstruction of the Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir.

Unfortunately, the baptisms weren’t allowed to happen either in Etchmiadzin, or in the Khor Virab Church the next day, or in Sourp Hovhannes Church in Yerevan the following day. The explanations given to us were as varied as the clerics involved. Some said we should have applied in writing months in advance; our applications would have then been reviewed by a religious council. Others said we should have brought a letter from the Istanbul Acting Patriarch Archbisop Aram Atesyan, granting permission for the baptisms. One cleric suggested that the candidates must visit Armenia at least three times before becoming eligible. An even more preposterous suggestion came from a cleric who wondered why we didn’t go to the churches in Turkey, since those wishing to be baptized are all from Turkey, instead of causing headaches for him and his superiors. I didn’t bother telling him that although there are churches in Istanbul, no churches are left in historic Armenia except the one we reconstructed in Diyarbakir.

Overall, these clerics seemed to be unprepared for dealing with the baptism requests and had to make endless calls to their superiors for a decision, which either did not come or was ultimately negative. They still lead us on, however, saying that by tomorrow, there might be a positive decision. So, each day—with our hopes high, after buying the required towels, crosses, and headscarves for the girls—we would face renewed disappointment. Even the intervention of the Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan did not achieve the desired outcome.

An even more upsetting development was the zeal of critics who used this incident to launch misguided attacks. Rather than criticize the decision itself or the persons who made the decision, individuals began appearing at press conferences or on TV, or writing articles in newspapers, attacking the Armenian Church, the Ministry of Diaspora, and the government in general. One organization called the Republic of Western Armenia went as far as issuing fictitious citizenship and identification cards with the baptized names printed on them, and displayed the cards with their fictitious flag, names, and photos at press conferences and on TV. It seems that these people didn’t realize (or didn’t care) that the two Dersim girls and the Diyarbakir man would be returning to Turkey, that they would be continuing to live among Muslim Turks and Kurds, with their names paraded on a fictitious republic’s citizenship cards. Do they have the right to jeopardize the lives of these already endangered persons? For that matter, do any of these opinion makers, who pass along all sorts of judgment in the media, care about the emotions of these three young people who had made such a personal decision as changing their faith, their religion?

The hidden Armenians have no control over their ethnic roots or their genetic identity—they were given no choice. They were born as Armenians, even though the fact that they are Armenians was not revealed to them until later in life. Some of them have now made a conscious decision to return to their ethnic roots. But changing one’s religion by converting to Christianity is an entirely different matter. No one is born with a religion—Christian or Muslim. Religion is not a genetic identity but a faith acquired by personal choice and through family. If someone has made the decision to become Christian through baptism, there should be no individual, no institution, and no force to prevent that from happening—especially in the case of the hidden Armenians, who are taking a risk by first revealing their Armenian identity, and then by converting to Christianity.

If the reason for these increasingly difficult barriers to prevent baptisms is fear of abuse, there should be ways of dealing with them quickly and without delay. Sure, there could be some Muslim Turks or Kurds just pretending to be hidden Armenians. There could be others who have no intention of becoming Christian Armenian and who are getting baptized to gain some sort of advantage, such as employment or a way out of Turkey and into Europe or the Americas. However, these exceptions should not lead to draconian rules and regulations for all those who genuinely want to become Christian. Moreover, why do we have godfathers? The role of the godfather is to assure the Armenian Church that the person being baptized is eligible and worthy of baptism, and there should be no excuse or delay by the cleric for further investigation.

The objective of Project Rebirth is to help the hidden Armenians think, feel, and act as Armenians. Our work will continue regardless of the barriers placed before us by certain people. Whether these hidden Armenians become Christian or not, they have decided to return to their Armenian roots, and we will continue to encourage them. It would be ideal if the Armenian Church would also fulfill its duty in encouraging them to become Christian Armenians. But if not, it is still alright. After all, Armenians were Armenians for centuries before they adopted Christianity.

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Raffi Bedrosyan

Raffi Bedrosyan is a civil engineer and a concert pianist, living in Toronto. Proceeds from his concerts and CDs have been donated to the construction of school, highways, and water and gas distribution projects in Armenia and Karabagh—projects in which he has also participated as a voluntary engineer. Bedrosyan was involved in organizing the Surp Giragos Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd Church reconstruction project. His articles explain the significance of this historic project as the first Armenian reclaim of church properties in Anatolia after 1915, as well as other Turkish-Armenian issues. He gave the first Armenian piano concert in the Surp Giragos Church since 1915, most recently at the 2015 Genocide Centenary Commemoration. He is the founder of Project Rebirth, which helps hidden Islamized Armenians reclaim their original Armenian roots, language, and culture.

51 Comments

  1. I don’t get it, anyone who likes to become a Christian should be welcomed to our church, after all, John The Baptist wasn’t baptizing Christian, he was baptizing anyone who want to follow Jesus. Those individuals are taking a chance by openly convert back to their parents religion, if muslims find out about them becoming christian they will kill them.
    We need those Armenians back, I wonder if a christian wants to convert to another religion if they would give him hard time!

    • I agree with you Isaac. Nobody should be in a position to not allow a baptism for whatever reason. I am appalled and disappointed.

  2. Keep up the good work Raffi in bringing back to our family those who were stolen from us. It is a shame that the clerics are the biggest obstacle to those wishing to re-join their church.

  3. It should be the duty of the Armenian apostolic church to baptize those individuals that want to be baptized as Christians.There should be no segration in the church ,Christianity was founded for any individuals that want to become Christian. Armenians were Armenians before Christianity.Our clergies are very short sighted.This is an opportunity to have the Armenians of Turkey coming out and remaining on our lands and growing in numbers.If we look back in our history Armenia went into its downfall after we adopted Christianity.Our priests have been so naïve.And today they are busy bying BMW s and Rollsroys.If the Armenian Apostolic church doesn t want to baptize them I think they should start asking the Armenian Catholic churh or the protestant church to baptize them in their churches. Remember one of our king of Cilicia became Catholic.

  4. These Armenian Apostolic Church barriers to getting baptized are absolutely ridiculous. The Armenian Apostolic church needs to get on this issue ASAP and make it entirely straight-forward for people to convert to Christianity. If they are not willing to do this then my advice to these hidden Armenians would be to get baptized in a protestant church which in general would have absolutely no problems baptizing them.

  5. We bemoan the fact that we may be losing numbers as Armenians, due to migrations, intermarriages, etc. Yet, we put barriers in front of those who want to get back to their Armenian origins and become Christians in the process. I hope this situation can be resolved with a positive outcome.

  6. If these people want to baptized and they take all the risks of Turkish persecution why should not by baptized, just for a few formalities. Let’s think twice

  7. My heart goes for all the hidden Armenians in Turkey. Nationality has nothing to do with Christianity.
    You like to become a Christian is a plus for you and your family. The whole family will be saved.
    John 14:6 Jesus answered, ” I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Any one can become a Christian, because it’s a free gift. Any clergy or Christian elder can baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  8. One wonders if any of the critics have read this:

    Acts 16:25–40

    25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 xSuddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately yall the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
    29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, z“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
    31 So they said, a“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, bhe set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

  9. Isaac is so very right. Did Christ turn away anyone seeking sacraments? Who is a man to deny a sacrament to one who is returning to his/her ethnicity and religion. These people did nothing wrong. Their ethnicity and religion was taken from them or their parents. These people are showing the courage displayed by martyrs throughout the centuries. The seek baptism and understand the possible results when they return to Islamic Turkey. No man should deny the sacrament of Baptism.

  10. Raffi, thank you for this heartfelt story. I am baffled by the negative treatment of these Armenians by Church officials. It is shameful. I hope these officils come to their senses and recognize how their decisions have made a travesty of Armenian Christian values. Keep trying and I hope the public outcry helps in changing the current sad circumstance. Bravo to all of the hidden Armenians from this year’s trip. I hope they overcome their challenges in the same way as those from your 2014 trip did as described in your story.

  11. I totally agree with Isaac Shadians comments about baptizing the Armenians who wanted baptized from Muslim religion to Armenian Christianity, We should welcome those Muslim Armenians who are taking such a big risk to be converted into Christianity.
    Archie Azizian

  12. No choice but to Baptize, otherwise there will be future strife and conflict. They must return to the religion of their ancestors. Islam was forced upon them, there is no need to cling on to something that was imposed against their will. Come back or forget about it!!

  13. One thing should be considered that nation and religion are totally different things. Here in USA there are thousand of religions and all of them are American citizens. From my point of view the hidden Armenians are welcome to be part of us.

  14. Baptism is a personal choice. Baptism in the Armenian church should be granted to any Armenian who wishes to do so. The church and government in Armenia need to agree a process to verify the true identity of these people and their true Armenian heritage. Once baptised, care should be taken not to publicise and make their lives difficult in Turkey.

  15. Guys we should look ahead of us i mean the next centuries where religion will be less important than the mankind and nations. Let us face the reality and solve the matter accordingly.

  16. You recently made headlines re a marriage proposal by a non-Armenian man (could have any nationality or religion) to an Armenian Girl & perhaps would arrange their holly matrimony for them to be married in an Armenian Church regardless of his religion or faith but yet you deny our unfortunate (hidden Armenians -as you know reason damn well) to become yet again born Christians & to be baptized in their Motherland. Who are you to decide for the faith of these people already denied & genocide. If you claim to be servants of God & Church, then get on with your business & perform your duties as you have promised to God & Christianity. This is not an election or political move that you can suppress & deny our sisters and brothers.

  17. Why not have a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and have the Armenian Church baptize them there if Armenia is treating them like this. Armenians seem to forget and neglect that ancient Armenian community. Even Kanye and Kim Kardashian did not (or could not?) baptize their daughter in Armenia and went to Jerusalem.

  18. imagine if John the Baptist turned away Jesus because He was a Jew
    as a person who was baptized and grew up as a good christian in the Armenian Apostolic church I am completely turned off by church policy and macho attitudes of priests , is that what Christ wanted?

  19. Religion – is the free will of man, his spiritual and moral life. Rebuke, reproach, to keep a great sin and a crime.
    Armenian society, the state and the clergy should be encouraged wishing to be baptized, mostly Armenians lost its roots.

  20. Isaac Shadian, Just to remind you that John the Baptist was baptizing Jews, calling them to repent of their sins. Jesus appears at one of the baptizims and requests to be baptized, as an example for those who already believe in Jesus, to commit their lives totally to God. Being baptized doesn’t “save” a person or make them a Christian. One becomes a Christian by believing Jesus died on the Cross and that his Blood cleans us from all sin, and asking Him to come into our lives. Baptizing comes after when we want to totally give our lives to Him.

  21. How disappointing that the red tape exists even in this crisis. Yes, to declare your belief as Christian and the desire to be baptised should be accepted by the church authorities with great zeal! Paperwork? From Turkey? In your dreams…………

  22. For me – as an armenian, being christian is just as important as being armenian – perhaps even more important! (being a moslim armenian does not exist in my world!)

  23. I agree 100 percent with Your conclusion, th Armenian “conservatie”Church has to reconsider its policies regarding hidden Armenians, keep up the good work.

  24. I am a baptized member of the Armenian Apostolic Church. If these Hidden Armenians were prepared for adult Baptism, the default of the Church is to baptize them. What I cannot determine from the article is two important things. First, did a Priest interview them to determine they were ready? Baptism does not mean merely that they renounce Islam or embrace their true ethnicity. Second, i don’t know enough about our Church to determine if the possible political issues were resolved. Maybe they are supposed to be baptized, if possible, where they live.
    Let;s not all jump to conclusions. It would have been nice to have someone from the Church answer these issues before publishing this article.

  25. Why do people think if you are baptized then you become Armenian. Christian faith dose not Recognise National Idantity.
    Therefore being Christian is dangerous to the Armenian identity.
    Someone needs to tell the hidden Armenians that they do not need to be baptized to be considered to be Armenian.

    • Baptism is synonymous with christening which means Starting Anew, of dying to an old way of life and being born again into a new way of life. It is connected to repentance which means a moral conversion. As such, it has nothing to do with becoming an Armenian. Christianity by itself alone does not define who we are as Armenians. It is only a part of our Armenian national identity.

      Personally, the way I define an Armenian is by giving an analogy using a pie chart. This pie chart is composed of several slices of differing sizes. Each slice defines an aspect of our Armenian identity. The presence and the absence of each of the pie slices define our strengths and weaknesses, respectively. All slices put together collectively, whether they make a full pie or not describe how complete, or incomplete for a lack of better word, of an Armenian we are.

      I think the biggest slice in the pie is the genetics and the Armenian blood running through our veins which give us our physical characteristics. If you have this then you are an Armenian by default regardless of how much of the other slices you possess or not. I would argue that you can’t be an Armenian in the true sense of the word without this slice. Without it, you can only be “Armenian-like” or be an “Armenian national” much like ethnic minorities living or born and raised in Armenia are Armenian nationals while being non-Armenians ethnically. The same can be said of the Armenians living or born and raised in foreign countries in the sense that in every way, other than ethnically, they can be indistinguishable from the natives. In other words, you can speak Armenian, act and react like an Armenian but be French and that, in my opinion, does not make you an Armenian. It only makes you an “Armenian-like”.

      The Armenian language, thus the Armenian culture, forms another slice of the pie. The size of this slice depends on how fluent you are in the Armenian language and whether or not you practice the culture. Christianity forms another slice of the pie but, unlike the language and the culture, it does not define our Armenian identity on its own and instead it compliments it. Some may disagree with this assessment but regardless it is just another piece that further characterizes the Armenian identity. Since Christianity has had such a major influence in our lives and it has been a part of the fabric of our society and since it is practically interwoven into our culture, it is therefore inconceivable to most Armenians to be an Armenian and not be a Christian as well. Add to that the fact that Christianity has made us very distinct from our neighbors and has kept us in an island of our own.

      In summary, we were Armenians long before we became Armenian Christians. Even though Christianity has arguably been a major part of our national makeup for nearly two thousand years, our nation has existed prior and a lot longer than it has become Christian. The Armenian national identity will remain intact even if you take away Christianity from it BUT if you do the reverse then you no longer have a national identity.

      As far as the so-called Hidden Armenians are concerned, in my humble personal opinion, they have to have Armenian blood to qualify as Armenians and that they MUST renounce Islam and should have NO choice in that. Whether they get baptized or not, further adds or takes away from their Armenian makeup. Unless we as a nation and democratically make formal changes in our way of thinking, there should be no exceptions and that they should follow our Armenian traditions as we have for centuries.

    • Ararat,
      Your idea of Armenian blood, even if rephrased to the newish phrase “Armenian DNA” is hogwash and Nazi hogwash at that. Although Armenians have a high degree of homogeneity, with less admixture than neighboring groups, these things mean nothing. Armenian-ness is the product of culture, not blood.

      If you take a Finnish or Zambian baby, and plop him for adoption down in Yerevan or Glendale with a huge Armenian family, he will be Armenian, even if some family and friends reject him for his appearance. By contrast if you take the Armenian baby and drop him off in Helsinki or Lusaka with adoptive parents, he will not be Armenian in any meaningful way apart, perhaps, from his appearance.

      The idea of one blood and one volk is pure Nazi crap.

    • JDA:

      to describe what Ararat wrote as Nazi-like is an insult.
      Nazis considered their ethnos superior to certain others, and considered those certain others Untermenschen.

      Where did Ararat say Armenians are superior to others and others are inferior ?
      We are Armenians.
      We are different than other nationalities and ethnicities.
      Not better.
      But unique.

    • jda,
      I think you have been watching Hollywood movies too long. That’s an example of why it is dangerous for Armenians living in western countries and letting their cultural guards down. Why bring all this ‘Nazi’ nonsense here? Would you say the same thing about Jews who claim that “a real Jew is one who has a Jewish mother”? Or is it perhaps that once again, Armenians must be placed to a “higher” standard?

      What Ararat said is quite close to the reality for what we are as Armenians, and what you are claiming is creepy NWO psychobabble. Your claim that “Armenian-ness is the product of culture, not blood” is indefensible. Simply, it is both. The ethnicity of ‘Armenian’ is not made up as a ‘concept’ like it is in the USA as an “American” and even Turkey. That ‘concept’ for us was completed many thousands of years ago in the Armenian Highlands when several Armenian regions and their people merged genetically, linguistically, and culturally. And since then as Armenians, our genetics are very much a defining point of who we are and our genetics goes hand in hand with our culture. Without the genetic aspect we can’t be ‘ethnically’ Armenian, and the same is true culturally.

      This does not mean we can’t accept genetically non-Armenians into our culture. Neither does it mean that we have to irresponsibly downplay, and worse, deliberately destroy our ancient genetics to satisfy some twisted sense of pseudo-idealistic “vision” developed by western media. Our DNA, like our culture, has unique qualities and history and is one of our treasures. It is worthy of being protected, preserved and cherished, not shunned, downplayed and ridiculed like you are trying to do.

    • I think you can see in Nazi beliefs the earlier Victorian idea they incorporated of a coherent race defined by what they called blood, and which Ararat calls blood as well. He says:

      “I think the biggest slice in the pie is the genetics and the Armenian blood running through our veins which give us our physical characteristics.”

      I reject that. I do think it is a Nazi belief. What makes us Armenian is not genetics but culture, for reasons I stated before. You can find descendants of Islamized Armenians who
      under Ararat’s analysis are in large measure Armenian. Nonsense. By contrast, those raised by and in the Armenian community are Armenian irrespective of where the genes recently came into being.

      I grant you that Ararat did not also talk about superiority or other Nazi eliminationalist beliefs, but the idea that ‘blood” [genes] makes Armenians Armenian is nonsense. Our parents make us Armenian.

    • Hagop,

      I would like you to answer for me two questions:

      1. Can you point to any scientific work that describes unique Armenian genes that others do not have?

      2. What is the uniquely Armenian genetic or “blood” component of our personalities or culture?

      If you assert that “Armenian DNA” explains our appearance, how do you explain the wide variation in our outer appearances? Yes, I have female relatives who look just like the “Mother Armenia” figure we see on rugs and paintings, but Indira Gandhi is a dead ringer for my mother, and I have others who are blonde and fair.

      So far as culture goes, your point about Jews proves my point. They recognize that one must have a Jewish mother to be a Jew because the mother transmits Jewish culture. The father can be a Jew, but if the mother is not, his “blood” doesn’t make the kid a Jew.

  26. They should contact the Armenian neopagan priests of the Children of Ari and get baptised into the TRUE Armenian religion at Garni.

  27. “An even more preposterous suggestion came from a cleric who wondered why we don’t go to churches in Turkey since those wishing to be baptized are all from Turkey, instead of causing headaches for him and his superiors.” What??? Baptizing these courageous Armenians is causing headaches for the clergyman and his superiors??? Amot, hazar amot!!!

    • what did Christianity do to Armenians, except turn them into subordinates, and subjects of others???

    • “hayrenaser”, what kind of a foolish comment is this? Do you mean to say that before Christianity there were no historical periods when Armenians were turned into subordinates and subjects of others? Do you know your own history at all? Wasn’t Armenia a province of the Roman Empire? Wasn’t Armenia a client state or vassal of the Byzantine and Sassanid empires? Stop spewing rubbish. Please.

  28. Stepan Partamian: “Therefore being Christian is dangerous to the Armenian identity”

    Mr Partamian, (if that is really you), haven’t seen you post here before, so it’s good you showed up. Over here you won’t be able to hang up on people if you don’t like what they have to say. So it is a good thing you are an “entertainer” and just that.

    Had Armenians not been staunch Christians who doggedly held on to their faith, you know what would have happened? Today we would be known as “Turks”. You don’t like that? OK, you could have also chosen to be “Azeri”. There would be no Armenia, because there would be no need for an extra nation (it would be just a region in Turkey) and an Armenian ethnicity would be just another among the many other Islamic ethnicities of the present nation of Turkey. I don’t think I need to explain to you that the Ottoman empire was divided based on religious affiliations and not on nationalities now do I?

  29. Beware of agent provocateurs who work tirelessly to split Armenians from the inside by dividing several millennia of our history to pre- and post-Christian periods. Our history is one and indivisible. Like many other ancient nations, we, too, were Pagans, Zoroastrians, and for the past 1700 years are Christians. One, indivisible history.

  30. There is a strategic aspect to laying off the Muslim Armenians as well. There are many Muslim countries that reflexively side with Turkey and Azerbaijan only because these countries are Muslim and opposing a Christian Armenia. If Armenia can credibly claim to be a religiously diverse nation, it can successfully persuade some of these other to side with it or to remain neutral.

    • I really doubt that there will be much demand by Muslim Armenians to live in Armenia. But Armenia cannot have Muslim residents for its own safety, even if they are two generations removed from Christian ancestors.

      A large percentage of the world’s Muslims support ISIS and its kind. If you admit 1000 Muslims to Armenia, how many of their grandchildren will think Jihad is more important than Christ? One is too many.

  31. jda,
    The two questions you are posing are getting into areas that can’t be answered here in a comments forum. But I will address them in brief.

    “1. Can you point to any scientific work that describes unique Armenian genes that others do not have?”

    1. I will tell you that there is a lot of dishonesty in DNA studies claiming to be “scientific” and “unbiased”. While data is data, conclusions are purely subjective and the science is by no means a “proof”. Suffice it to say that even in the flawed opinions of speakers from the “Armenian DNA Project” admitted: “Armenian genes are ancient”, meaning they merged in the ancient times and remained thus until today. This field is also relatively new and therefore not any kind of study to seek conclusive answers now. Plus, I would first trust the studies to be from Armenian scientists from Armenia, and not from the likes of foreign countries who all have their Turkophile ulterior motives against Armenian history.

    “2. What is the uniquely Armenian genetic or “blood” component of our personalities or culture?”

    If you are claiming Armenian DNA is not unique, then all human beings would look alike and have pretty much the same culture throughout the planet. Our Armenian culture evolved because of genetically Armenian people and not because of ‘Finnish or Zambian’ people. What you’re trying to argue is after the fact. “Put a Finnish or Zambian baby in Armenia and they will grow Armenian”. Yes I agree but that does not mean that “Armenian genes do not exist”. You ask how would we explain the wide variation in our outer appearances. Good question, but it is not as wide as you are making it out to be. We have diversity, but within our own race. That is the reason that a blonde from Armenia is distinctly different from a blonde from Finland. Whether we are dark, or light, most of the time we have those “Armenian features”. Why would one say is this valid and relevant? If you are Armenian from both parents, has anyone ever mistaken you for a Finn or Zambian? After observing Armenians for an extended length of time for example, most observant people would readily be able to distinguish an Armenian from someone else.

    Ans as history suggests, Armenians spread out from the Armenian Highlands spreading both civilization and culture to India, Europe and the rest of the Middle East. So it is not surprising these areas have people that “resemble Armenians”, like you are suggesting that your mother has a resemblance to Indira Ghandi. All this is not by ‘chance’ – it is through historical facts. Even the Bible tells us, the re-birth of humankind started from the middle of Armenia.

    The question now to you is, if your reasons of making claims such as “DNA has no value”, are based on reasons as a “pure human and human only” then what is the reason for being and remaining ‘Armenian’ AT ALL?

    The idea that “DNA does not define us” is not only unscientific, it is even unnatural. By your view, the entire world is “Nazi-like” for having different peoples all this time. No thank you to this creepy desire for a one-race humanity.

  32. The doors of the Church should NEVER be close for one wanting to enter the God’s kingdom.

    Հավատքի տեսանկյունից, մոլորված գառը, երբ վարադառնում է, միշտ էլ ընդունվում է, և միգուցե ավելի մեծ ուրախությամբ։ Շատ սխալ էր չկնքելը։

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