On this day, April 24, in 1915, the Armenian Genocide transpired. This was the Ottoman government's systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, mostly Ottoman citizens within the Ottoman Empire and its successor state, the Republic of Turkey. Hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly converted to Islam to give Armenia a new Turkish sense of identity and strip the Armenian people of their past as the first Christian state in the world. Over 1,000,000 Greek Orthodox Christians were also massacred at that time. To this day, the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge this atrocity as a genocide, saying that it was simply a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims.
A feature film entitled "The Promise," starring Academy Award winner Christian Bale was recently released earlier this month shedding light onto this historical occurrence. However, before the movie was released, there were thousands of 1-star ratings on IMDB (Internet Movie Database) with reviews that were politically and ideologically driven most of which had very little to do with the movie. The facts converge to demonstrate the desperate attempt of the Turkish propaganda machine in yet another attempt to silence or malign the truth.
As we continue to see our own Mother Church of Constantinople suffering from religious persecution, we remember today our Armenian brothers and sisters who suffered brutal persecutions.