"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Christianity in Soviet Armenia

Readers of my two books will be aware of how deeply I esteem the Armenian Church for many reasons, and how fascinated I remain by her history. A new book gives us glimpses into one particularly difficult period of that history: Soviet captivity. I look forward to reading Jakub Osiecki, The Armenian Church in Soviet Armenia: The Policies of the Armenian Bolsheviks and the Armenian Church, 1920-1932, trans. Artur Zwolski (Peter Lang, 2020), 272pp.

About this book the publisher tells us this:

This book presents the results of comprehensive study on the history of Soviet Armenia and the Armenian Church in the years 1920-32. Through documents uncovered in the Communist Party Archive in Yerevan and the Georgian Historical Archive, press antireligious propaganda, oral testimonies, and biographical interviews conducted by the author, The Armenian Church in Soviet Armenia expands the discussion on the history of the Armenian Church in the 20th century, especially regarding the relations between the spiritual leaders of the Armenian Church and the Bolsheviks. In accordance with stipulations laid out by the Central Committee in consultation with the GPU, Khoren Muradbekian was elected as the Catholicos of All Armenians. His election was the principal reason behind the schism inside the Church– which, especially in the Armenian diaspora, divided not only clergy, but laymen themselves. These divisions, even after hundred years, are still vivid in Armenian society.

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