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Enough with the churches

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  • Enough with the churches

    THE ARMENIAN OBSESSION WITH CHURCHES

    by Raffi Bedrosyan

    Published: Wednesday October 23, 2013

    The new Moscow cathedral opened in September 2013. Phoyolure

    When someone visits Armenia for the first time, the tour itinerary
    invariably includes a multitude of churches and monasteries. Modern
    Armenia is the land of churches.

    Historic Armenia in Anatolia was also a land of churches, with nearly
    4000 churches and monasteries. The Van Lake region alone had over 300
    churches. The ancient City of Ani, dubbed the City of 1001 Churches,
    contained 40 churches.

    We are proud of our churches, awed at their architectural beauty and
    intricate construction techniques, amazed at their settings perched
    on inaccessible mountaintops.

    On the other hand, this obsession with churches, when combined with
    our tragic history, makes me wonder: 'I wish we had fewer churches to
    visit and instead, many more victory monuments like Sardarabad. I wish
    our Armenian kings, princes, political leaders and wealthy notables
    in the past had spent less time, talent, resources and money on these
    churches and instead, more on fortifications and defense of our lands
    and territories'. When one delves more into the historic reasons
    why these churches are built, it becomes apparent that they are not
    necessarily built to meet the religious needs of the population,
    but rather to bring glory to the benefactor and perhaps to help him
    'ease into heaven'.

    Throughout history, our religious leaders have conditioned the
    benefactors that there is no better way to serve God, Jesus Christ and
    its Armenian folk than to build another church. Therefore, regardless
    of political, economic or social realities and upheavals, Armenians
    have continued building churches in both historic and modern Armenia,
    as well as in all corners of the world, often times disregarding other
    needs and priorities. This has been the case in medieval Armenian
    kingdoms in historic Armenia, continuing in Cilicia and Eastern
    Anatolia up until 1915, then in Diaspora and now in modern Armenia.

    The tradition continues today. When future generations look back into
    our present history of 22 year-old Armenia and Diaspora Armenians,
    they will see the challenges of establishing a new country from the
    ruins of the Soviet Empire, at the same time fighting the deadly
    Karabagh war, the closed borders and economic blockade by Turkey and
    Azerbaijan, simultaneously dealing with the disastrous 1989 earthquake,
    and most critically, the continuing depopulation of Armenia due to
    lack of employment and investment opportunities. And yet, despite
    these monumental tasks, they will also see examples of vast church
    building activities both in Armenia and Diaspora.

    In 1997, in the midst of urgent needs to reconstruct Armenia ravaged
    by the earthquake and Karabagh destroyed by war, Armenians did find
    the money to build the Saint Gregory Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan.

    In 2001, Diaspora Armenians in Los Angeles did start the construction
    of a huge cathedral, while there was and is scarce money to keep
    Armenian schools open.

    In 2011, an oligarch donated all the funds to build the St Hovhannes
    Cathedral in Abovyan, while the starving local population had almost
    emptied the town.

    Just last month, wealthy Russian Armenians opened a vast new cathedral
    in Moscow.

    The Echmiadzin Catholicosate has become a state within a state,
    a Vatican-like complex expanding continuously with new buildings.

    The combined total expenditure on these large churches, as well as
    several other smaller church projects, easily exceeds $200 million.

    These projects are not funded from revenue-generating sources or
    regular budgets, but instead, from one-time significant donations of
    benefactors, mostly from the Diaspora. They will not generate any
    revenues, either, but will create a continuing need for additional
    donations for upkeep and maintenance.

    One wonders if these donations could be used for more worthwhile
    projects, such as helping Armenians remain in Armenia, or helping
    Armenians remain Armenian in the Diaspora. There seems to be a widely
    accepted belief that neither the government nor the church are in touch
    with the concerns and needs of the common people. During a recent
    private audience with the Catholicos, he was asked what the Church
    can do to keep our youth more interested in the Armenian church and
    attached closer to their Armenian roots. His curt response was that
    'this should be done at home and at school'.

    The much anticipated Bishops Synod, assembled last month for the first
    time in 600 years, did not produce any tangible resolutions to address
    concerns of the common Armenian, be it in Armenia or the Diaspora.

    Most benefactors do not want or trust to invest in Armenia due
    to the fear that government corruption and bribes will make their
    investment useless and therefore, will not generate economic benefits
    for themselves nor help the Armenian population.

    Unless the government takes concrete steps to change the valid
    perception that investments only end up in the hands of the governing
    oligarchs, there will not be much participation in the desperately
    needed economic growth of Armenia, which is essential to keep the
    Armenians from leaving Armenia. In the meantime, the church leaders
    just continue preaching the tried and true convincing argument that
    the most beneficial donation a benefactor can make for himself and
    his family is giving to the church.

    Of course, there are truly worthwhile church building and restoration
    projects, with strategic and significant benefits for all Armenians.

    One example is the restoration of the Ghazantchetsots Church in Shushi,
    undertaken immediately after the Karabagh war. During the war, Azeris
    controlling Shushi had used this historic church as an arms depot and
    military centre, while continuously bombarding Stepanakert down below
    in the valley. Their reasoning was that Armenians would never attack
    and fire on their own church. When Armenian commandos victoriously
    entered Shushi in May 1992, they found the church in shambles, burnt,
    desecrated and full of human excrement. Today, it stands as a symbol
    of victory against all odds.

    The other critical restoration project is the total reconstruction
    of the Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd Surp Giragos Church in Turkey in 2011,
    the first time an Armenian church was restored as an Armenian church
    in historic Armenia after being destroyed in 1915. This project is
    strategically significant for a number of reasons:

    First, the restored church became concrete evidence against the
    denialist state version of history of the government of Turkey,
    demonstrating that there was a large Armenian presence in Anatolia
    before 1915.

    Secondly, it immediately became a religious and cultural centre helping
    the Turkish and Kurdish population of Turkey understand the realities
    of 1915, through media events, conferences and concerts.

    Thirdly, the foundation which restored the church started the process
    to reclaim the properties belonging to the church but confiscated after
    1915, with several properties already secured through negotiations
    and courts, for the first time since 1915.

    Fourth, the church became a living genocide memorial, attracting tens
    of thousands of Armenian visitors from Diaspora and Armenia annually,
    helping start a dialogue and better relationship with liberated Kurds
    and Turks who have faced the historical truths of 1915, and now demand
    their government to do so.

    Last but not least, the most significant outcome of the restoration
    of this church, has been the emergence of the hidden Armenians.

    Islamicized Armenians have started 'coming out', visiting and praying
    in the Church, getting baptized, participating in Armenian language
    courses, helping build an Armenian museum on the church grounds,
    contributing to the security and administration of the church,
    demanding acceptance of their real identity by the government, and
    so on. The church acts like a magnet for these people, with over
    one hundred people visiting daily on average, coming from all over
    Anatolia, not just Diyarbakir, trying to find their Armenian roots.

    New initiatives underway to restore and reclaim other destroyed
    Armenian churches and monasteries in historic Armenia will help
    accelerate all these outcomes.

    In conclusion, it is my sincere hope that future government and church
    leaders, as well as future benefactors, will decide more wisely on
    what projects to invest in, giving higher priority to the needs and
    wants of the Armenian people than their own.

    http://www.reporter.am/index.cfm?fur...pagewanted=all
    Hayastan or Bust.

  • #2
    Re: Enough with the churches

    Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
    In 2001, Diaspora Armenians in Los Angeles did start the construction
    of a huge cathedral, while there was and is scarce money to keep
    Armenian schools open.

    In 2011, an oligarch donated all the funds to build the St Hovhannes
    Cathedral in Abovyan, while the starving local population had almost
    emptied the town.

    Just last month, wealthy Russian Armenians opened a vast new cathedral
    in Moscow.

    The Echmiadzin Catholicosate has become a state within a state,
    a Vatican-like complex expanding continuously with new buildings.

    The combined total expenditure on these large churches, as well as
    several other smaller church projects, easily exceeds $200 million.

    These projects are not funded from revenue-generating sources or
    regular budgets, but instead, from one-time significant donations of
    benefactors, mostly from the Diaspora. They will not generate any
    revenues, either, but will create a continuing need for additional
    donations for upkeep and maintenance.

    One wonders if these donations could be used for more worthwhile
    projects, such as helping Armenians remain in Armenia, or helping
    Armenians remain Armenian in the Diaspora. There seems to be a widely
    accepted belief that neither the government nor the church are in touch
    with the concerns and needs of the common people
    Building churches is easy for Armenia/diaspora oligarchs. It is also excellent for PR

    It grabs headlines both for the oligarchs and the churchmen. It provides the illusion that there is 'progress'

    Obviously vastly more important are issues of welfare, living conditions, civil rights and good government in Armenia. But church builders will stay well away from all this

    The main ambition of political leaders in Armenia and diaspora, oligarchs and churchmen is good eating, good PR, easy life for themselves. They will be keen to attend banquets where they will probably prove their Armenianism by wrapping themselves up in an Armenian flag
    Last edited by lampron; 10-25-2013, 11:29 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Enough with the churches

      I make good Kabob including lamp liver (jigar)
      BYO liquor and flag after church services.....we can get drunk talk over how our enemies plan to destroy us once n for good.
      of course we will never agree....we are Armenians.
      B0zkurt Hunter

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Enough with the churches

        Yumm Jigar Kabob sounds great!
        Hayastan or Bust.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Enough with the churches

          These guys are responsible for the Armenian cathedral in Moscow, among other buildings within and without Armenia (look under "Projects"): http://www.ghulyan.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Enough with the churches

            Originally posted by TomServo View Post
            These guys are responsible for the Armenian cathedral in Moscow, among other buildings within and without Armenia (look under "Projects"): http://www.ghulyan.com/
            Much of the modern so-called Armenian architecture is the design equivalent of Frankenstein's monster: an ugly pastiche of things crudely stitched together in an arbitrary way that have all been copied from far better buildings from the past.

            But I'd be more interested in knowning who their clients are (the real clients - those who provide the funds).

            Architects and artists have always been eager to work for dictators and criminals, thinking they can escape any criticism. And mostly they do seem to escape: Zaha Hadid makes a nice living creating pleasure palaces and tombs for the world's worst regimes.
            Last edited by bell-the-cat; 03-23-2014, 07:54 AM.
            Plenipotentiary meow!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Enough with the churches

              I wonder who designed this visual disaster? A (fake?) bell tower stuck right on top of the roof of the dome And a 12-sided drum, angled so that there is a completely illogical transition between that drum and the lower parts of the church (look at the roofing of the little corner transitions - it does not work where it meets the faceted sides of the drum). And three bottom courses of stone of a different sort, meant to be a cheap and crude substitute for having a proper stepped base. And cheap, flimsy-looking steps up to the church entrances, (proving that the "architect" hadn't a clue how to make even a crude copy of the past: the jambs of the doorways should have cut through the stepped base). And I'm guessing that the metal pipe sticking out of the south window is a vent for a stove inside.

              Plenipotentiary meow!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Enough with the churches

                And look at this. One of the "sights" Artashes thinks that moronic tourists would travel 1000s of miles to Armenia to see. Hnevank monastery, Lori Marz. 10% 12th century, 90% 21st century. Click image for larger version

Name:	Hnevanq monastery Lori.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	100.9 KB
ID:	539035
                Plenipotentiary meow!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Enough with the churches

                  Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                  THE ARMENIAN OBSESSION WITH CHURCHES

                  by Raffi Bedrosyan

                  Published: Wednesday October 23, 2013

                  The new Moscow cathedral opened in September 2013. Phoyolure

                  When someone visits Armenia for the first time, the tour itinerary
                  invariably includes a multitude of churches and monasteries. Modern
                  Armenia is the land of churches.

                  Historic Armenia in Anatolia was also a land of churches, with nearly
                  4000 churches and monasteries. The Van Lake region alone had over 300
                  churches. The ancient City of Ani, dubbed the City of 1001 Churches,
                  contained 40 churches.

                  We are proud of our churches, awed at their architectural beauty and
                  intricate construction techniques, amazed at their settings perched
                  on inaccessible mountaintops.

                  On the other hand, this obsession with churches, when combined with
                  our tragic history, makes me wonder: 'I wish we had fewer churches to
                  visit and instead, many more victory monuments like Sardarabad. I wish
                  our Armenian kings, princes, political leaders and wealthy notables
                  in the past had spent less time, talent, resources and money on these
                  churches and instead, more on fortifications and defense of our lands
                  and territories'. When one delves more into the historic reasons
                  why these churches are built, it becomes apparent that they are not
                  necessarily built to meet the religious needs of the population,
                  but rather to bring glory to the benefactor and perhaps to help him
                  'ease into heaven'.

                  Throughout history, our religious leaders have conditioned the
                  benefactors that there is no better way to serve God, Jesus Christ and
                  its Armenian folk than to build another church. Therefore, regardless
                  of political, economic or social realities and upheavals, Armenians
                  have continued building churches in both historic and modern Armenia,
                  as well as in all corners of the world, often times disregarding other
                  needs and priorities. This has been the case in medieval Armenian
                  kingdoms in historic Armenia, continuing in Cilicia and Eastern
                  Anatolia up until 1915, then in Diaspora and now in modern Armenia.

                  The tradition continues today. When future generations look back into
                  our present history of 22 year-old Armenia and Diaspora Armenians,
                  they will see the challenges of establishing a new country from the
                  ruins of the Soviet Empire, at the same time fighting the deadly
                  Karabagh war, the closed borders and economic blockade by Turkey and
                  Azerbaijan, simultaneously dealing with the disastrous 1989 earthquake,
                  and most critically, the continuing depopulation of Armenia due to
                  lack of employment and investment opportunities. And yet, despite
                  these monumental tasks, they will also see examples of vast church
                  building activities both in Armenia and Diaspora.

                  In 1997, in the midst of urgent needs to reconstruct Armenia ravaged
                  by the earthquake and Karabagh destroyed by war, Armenians did find
                  the money to build the Saint Gregory Illuminator Cathedral in Yerevan.

                  In 2001, Diaspora Armenians in Los Angeles did start the construction
                  of a huge cathedral, while there was and is scarce money to keep
                  Armenian schools open.

                  In 2011, an oligarch donated all the funds to build the St Hovhannes
                  Cathedral in Abovyan, while the starving local population had almost
                  emptied the town.

                  Just last month, wealthy Russian Armenians opened a vast new cathedral
                  in Moscow.

                  The Echmiadzin Catholicosate has become a state within a state,
                  a Vatican-like complex expanding continuously with new buildings.

                  The combined total expenditure on these large churches, as well as
                  several other smaller church projects, easily exceeds $200 million.

                  These projects are not funded from revenue-generating sources or
                  regular budgets, but instead, from one-time significant donations of
                  benefactors, mostly from the Diaspora. They will not generate any
                  revenues, either, but will create a continuing need for additional
                  donations for upkeep and maintenance.

                  One wonders if these donations could be used for more worthwhile
                  projects, such as helping Armenians remain in Armenia, or helping
                  Armenians remain Armenian in the Diaspora. There seems to be a widely
                  accepted belief that neither the government nor the church are in touch
                  with the concerns and needs of the common people. During a recent
                  private audience with the Catholicos, he was asked what the Church
                  can do to keep our youth more interested in the Armenian church and
                  attached closer to their Armenian roots. His curt response was that
                  'this should be done at home and at school'.

                  The much anticipated Bishops Synod, assembled last month for the first
                  time in 600 years, did not produce any tangible resolutions to address
                  concerns of the common Armenian, be it in Armenia or the Diaspora.

                  Most benefactors do not want or trust to invest in Armenia due
                  to the fear that government corruption and bribes will make their
                  investment useless and therefore, will not generate economic benefits
                  for themselves nor help the Armenian population.

                  Unless the government takes concrete steps to change the valid
                  perception that investments only end up in the hands of the governing
                  oligarchs, there will not be much participation in the desperately
                  needed economic growth of Armenia, which is essential to keep the
                  Armenians from leaving Armenia. In the meantime, the church leaders
                  just continue preaching the tried and true convincing argument that
                  the most beneficial donation a benefactor can make for himself and
                  his family is giving to the church.

                  Of course, there are truly worthwhile church building and restoration
                  projects, with strategic and significant benefits for all Armenians.

                  One example is the restoration of the Ghazantchetsots Church in Shushi,
                  undertaken immediately after the Karabagh war. During the war, Azeris
                  controlling Shushi had used this historic church as an arms depot and
                  military centre, while continuously bombarding Stepanakert down below
                  in the valley. Their reasoning was that Armenians would never attack
                  and fire on their own church. When Armenian commandos victoriously
                  entered Shushi in May 1992, they found the church in shambles, burnt,
                  desecrated and full of human excrement. Today, it stands as a symbol
                  of victory against all odds.

                  The other critical restoration project is the total reconstruction
                  of the Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd Surp Giragos Church in Turkey in 2011,
                  the first time an Armenian church was restored as an Armenian church
                  in historic Armenia after being destroyed in 1915. This project is
                  strategically significant for a number of reasons:

                  First, the restored church became concrete evidence against the
                  denialist state version of history of the government of Turkey,
                  demonstrating that there was a large Armenian presence in Anatolia
                  before 1915.

                  Secondly, it immediately became a religious and cultural centre helping
                  the Turkish and Kurdish population of Turkey understand the realities
                  of 1915, through media events, conferences and concerts.

                  Thirdly, the foundation which restored the church started the process
                  to reclaim the properties belonging to the church but confiscated after
                  1915, with several properties already secured through negotiations
                  and courts, for the first time since 1915.

                  Fourth, the church became a living genocide memorial, attracting tens
                  of thousands of Armenian visitors from Diaspora and Armenia annually,
                  helping start a dialogue and better relationship with liberated Kurds
                  and Turks who have faced the historical truths of 1915, and now demand
                  their government to do so.

                  Last but not least, the most significant outcome of the restoration
                  of this church, has been the emergence of the hidden Armenians.

                  Islamicized Armenians have started 'coming out', visiting and praying
                  in the Church, getting baptized, participating in Armenian language
                  courses, helping build an Armenian museum on the church grounds,
                  contributing to the security and administration of the church,
                  demanding acceptance of their real identity by the government, and
                  so on. The church acts like a magnet for these people, with over
                  one hundred people visiting daily on average, coming from all over
                  Anatolia, not just Diyarbakir, trying to find their Armenian roots.

                  New initiatives underway to restore and reclaim other destroyed
                  Armenian churches and monasteries in historic Armenia will help
                  accelerate all these outcomes.

                  In conclusion, it is my sincere hope that future government and church
                  leaders, as well as future benefactors, will decide more wisely on
                  what projects to invest in, giving higher priority to the needs and
                  wants of the Armenian people than their own.

                  http://www.reporter.am/index.cfm?fur...pagewanted=all
                  Haykakan, I know what you think and why did you put this and thanks for posting this.
                  I hate it when some smart ass starts to talk about Armenian history and figures with criticizing "this would have been better", "I wish our ancestors did this and that instead of this and that". Totally absurd and idiotic behavior. No matter which way you look. How can somebody judge people who lived in another time within their own world? Let alone this judgement is passed by somebody that does not even know the history fully or is not a historian, with generalizing that the life in ancient was centered around churches is easy, but stupid enough.
                  His judgement is so flawed it's not even funny. For the historic Ani with a population of over a quarter million 40 churches were probably the smallest number per capita compared to other cities throughout the world in that time. 4000 churches or religious structures in almost 17 centuries in that large area of historic Armenia does not indicate any obsession of church building, on the contrary.
                  I cannot comment about diaspora, even though one cannot imagine any community, even none Armenian, that asserts it's presence and cohesion without religious structures.
                  But in Armenia, churchbuiding is a very much needed thing. All those 22 years you cannot find any material or documentary of people not being anything but happy about building them. All these villages and communities around the country that saw their religion stampeded and churches destroyed by soviet authorities. All you see is a welcome feeling and celebrations among population of rebuilding old ones or building new ones. Criticizing our church or religion is something but church building is something else. Everywhere you go in Armenia people want more presence of our mother church. Churches are the number one on list.
                  People want to rebuild the void left after soviet church destruction.
                  This idiot critiques, but fails to notice that in history, Armenian church being much more liberal and democratic than others like catholics, traditionally never levied taxes or has never conducted business activities like control of some industry or trade like alcohol, or sales of things like fake indulgencies in order to build. It relied solely on donations, especially, from high benefactors. This is a root tradition. Any benefactor was expected to be involved in building a church, no matter what other deeds he did. This expectation came from general population, and this in turn brought an expectation that a church builder had also lifetime responsibility of being a benefactor to people.
                  From kings to rich landowners building a church was to be followed by schools, hospitals and other deeds. That is why, usually, you find remnants of schools and other needed structures near church ruins.
                  Just a couple of months ago, in news I was watching celebrations in inauguration of a church in a village in, I think Tavush region,(the clips are there in News.AM. Don't want to waste my time digging exact date.) built by donations of two brothers from Russia, presided by their father and right on spot it was announced that the building of a kindergarden and community center had began.

                  Now about russia, It was very necessary to have such a grandiose structure built in the heart of a grandiose country with over a million Armenians living( in that city). Especially to replace another grand one built by Lazarian family and destroyed by stalin. And just like the tradition, next to church there are the buildings of school, library, community centers.
                  I read only positive remarks from Armenian architectural community about this structures.
                  I say Bravo!
                  Last edited by Hakob; 04-11-2014, 07:34 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Enough with the churches

                    Originally posted by Hakob View Post
                    Haykakan, I know what you think and why did you put this and thanks for posting this.
                    I hate it when some smart ass starts to talk about Armenian history and figures with criticizing "this would have been better", "I wish our ancestors did this and that instead of this and that". Totally absurd and idiotic behavior. No matter which way you look. How can somebody judge people who lived in another time within their own world? Let alone this judgement is passed by somebody that does not even know the history fully or is not a historian, with generalizing that the life in ancient was centered around churches is easy, but stupid enough.
                    His judgement is so flawed it's not even funny. For the historic Ani with a population of over a quarter million 40 churches were probably the smallest number per capita compared to other cities throughout the world in that time. 4000 churches or religious structures in almost 17 centuries in that large area does not indicate any obsession of church building, on the contrary.
                    I cannot comment about diaspora, even though one cannot imagine any community, even none Armenian, that asserts it's presence and cohesion without religious structures.
                    But in Armenia, churchbuiding is a very much needed thing. All those 22 years you cannot find any material or documentary of people not being anything but happy about building them. All these villages and communities around the country that saw their religion stampeded and churches destroyed by soviet authorities. All you see is a welcome feeling and celebrations among population of rebuilding old ones or building new ones. Criticizing our church or religion is something but church building is something else. Everywhere you go in Armenia people want more presence of our mother church. Churches are the number one on list.
                    People want to rebuild the void left after soviet church destruction.
                    This idiot critiques, but fails to notice that in history, Armenian church being much more liberal and democratic than others like catholics, traditionally never levied taxes or has never conducted business activities like control of some industry or trade like alcohol, or sales of things like fake indulgencies in order to build. It relied solely on donations, especially, from high benefactors. This is a root tradition. Any benefactor was expected to be involved in building a church, no matter what other deeds he did. This expectation came from general population, and this in turn brought an expectation that a church builder had also lifetime responsibility of being a benefactor to people.
                    From kings to rich landowners building a church was to be followed by schools, hospitals and other deeds. That is why, usually, you find remnants of schools and other needed structures near church ruins.
                    Just a couple of months ago, in news I was watching celebrations in inauguration of a church in a village in, I think Tavush region,(the clips are there in News.AM. Don't want to waste my time digging exact date.) built by donations of two brothers from Russia, presided by their father and right on spot it was announced that the building of a kindergarden and community center had began.

                    Now about russia, It was very necessary to have such a grandiose structure built in the heart of a grandiose country with over a million Armenians living( in that city). Especially to replace another grand one built by Lazarian family and destroyed by stalin. And just like the tradition, next to church there are the buildings of school, library, community centers.
                    I read only positive remarks from Armenian architectural community about this structures.
                    I say Bravo!
                    Very good points made!
                    whatever the motives behind them, these churches have done more than their fair share of positives.
                    For seventy years they were the primary force behind nationless Armenians in the diaspora keeping their identity.
                    also, from personal experience, two years ago when i spent a few months in gyumri, i was living on Paruyr Sevak st, and there was a church that had been constructed in recent years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St-Hagop_gyumri.jpg
                    the church didn't create any jobs, or heal anyone, or provide any education. However for the few thousand people living in that part of the city, it was their biggest point of pride in their community and provided a sense of normality, and it was the place where everyone gathered in the evenings.
                    Last edited by Mher; 04-12-2014, 12:43 AM.
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