*** This is a rough transcript of today’s show ***

It is the 11th of June 2021 Welcome to the Christian History Almanac brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org, I’m Dan van Voorhis.

Let’s go back to the Ottoman Empire!


*They took Constantinople but allowed Christians to live in the new Empire

*Armenia was part of the Ottoman Empire but also one of the earliest (maybe THE earliest) Christian nations (adopted Christianity in 301 as the state religion). St Gregory the Illuminator is the big name here and it was him and Mesrop Mashtots who would be largely responsible for the birth of the Armenian alphabet and the translation of religious texts.

*The Armenian Church today belongs to the Oriental Orthodox community but there have been, historically, other church bodies. Most notably was the Armenian Catholic Church which was in communion with Rome but followed Eastern Rites and had a good deal of independence.

*On the show from April 24th of this year, we discussed the Armenian Genocide and particularly how it affected Armenian Christians. On that show, we looked at an aspect of the Armenian Orthodox Church, but today I would like to introduce you to an Armenian Catholic- the Armenian Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Maloyan.

Maloyan was born in 1869 in the town of Mardin to Christian parents. Except for a few detours he spent his life there. He was notably pious as a young child and at 14 he was sent to a convent to prepare for a life in the ministry. He was ordained in 1896 and served in parishes in Cairo and Alexandria (remember, this is the Armenian Catholic Church and so a priest was not limited to only Armenian churches).

In 1911 he came back to Mardin where he was installed as the Archbishop for the region. Unfortunately, we are getting close to those damnable years of 1914 to 1918 and Armenia was hardly a safe place for a religious minority.

In 1915 Maloyan and his entire Bishopric were surrounded by Turkish soldiers. The soldiers used that old chestnut of claiming that “they’re hiding weapons” to arrest them all. While imprisoned Maloyan was able to get enough bread to consecrate and give out as communion. Maloyan refused to convert and was tortured to no avail He was sent back with the almost 500 Armenian Catholics and marched to the desert. It was on this, the 10th of June in 1915 that Maloyan was given an ultimatum. His response? “I've told you I shall live and die for the sake of my faith and religion. I take pride in the Cross of my God and Lord” He was shot and killed. We remember Ignatius Maloyan on this, the anniversary of his death on this day in 1915.

The last word for today comes from Hebrews 12 that great chapter on “the cloud of witnesses” and those who fought the good fight. Here is a section from that chapter

“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly[g] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

This has been the Christian History Almanac for the 11th of June 2021 brought to you by 1517 at 1517.org.

The show is produced by the Mesrop Mashtots of sound engineering Christopher Gillespie.

The show is written and read by the Mesrop Mashtots of podcasting professors Dan van Voorhis.

You can catch us here every day- and remember that the rumors of grace, forgiveness, and the redemption of all things are true…. Everything is going to be ok.