July 26, 2018
Archbishop Oshagan attended a reception last week hosted by Armenia’s Mission to the United Nations for Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, who was visiting the United States. The reception took place at the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America in New York City and was attended by community-wide leaders. Minister Mnatsakanyan was previously the Permanent Representative of Armenia to the United Nations. He was appointed Foreign Affairs Minister in May 2018.
Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General, visited the Holy Cross Church in Troy, New York last weekend at which time he introduced the community’s new visiting clergyman, Archpriest Fr. Gomidas Baghsarian, pastor emeritus of Sts. Vartanantz Church in Providence. His Grace also presided over the dedication ceremony of a new baptismal font.

His Grace Bishop Anoushavan, Vicar General of the Eastern Prelacy, flanked by the 2018 Datev Institute participants and Instructors.
The Eastern Prelacy’s St. Gregory of Datev Institute held its 32 nd annual summer program for youth ages 13-18 at St. Mary of Providence Center in Elverson, Pennsylvania, from July 1-8, 2018, with the participation of 34 students from 11 parishes. Sponsored by the Prelacy’s Armenian Religious Education Council (AREC), it was directed this year by Very Rev. Fr. Sahag Yemishian, pastor of Holy Trinity Armenian Church (Worcester, Massachusetts). The Institute offers a unique Christian educational program for teens in a wholesome and nurturing environment, with three-pronged objectives: Christian education, prayer/worship, and fellowship and recreational activities.

Maintaining a proper balance of these three components is what makes Datev a unique program for our youth, something that seems appreciated and valued by most participants. Not only are the students’ daily program enhanced by morning and evening Armenian church services, the students are afforded the opportunity to engage with high caliber lay and clergy teachers on matters of faith and church-related topics. As Maral Zobian, a first year participant, remarked: “I was very surprised that it was different from other camps/retreats. It’s unique. The classes are intriguing and it is good that we have time to socialize as well as time to worship. I’m glad I made new friends, and I can’t wait for next summer!”

To be sure, Datev is not a camp, merely a full day of continuous games and sports and other recreational activities. It is a Christian educational program, where students attend classes, three hours in the morning and two in the evening, participate in morning and evening worship services, and enjoy afternoon sports and recreational activities, such as volleyball, soccer, swimming, and soccer, as well as bowling (off-site). Read the full release here .

Gregory Musaelian lecturing on the Existence of God. 
Dr. Ari Nalbandian, Datev alumnus, speaking on Science and Religion.
Miscellaneous activities at Datev.
Bible readings for Sunday, July 29, Fourth Sunday of Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are Isaiah 5:1-10; 1 Corinthians 6:15-7:11; Matthew 19:3-12.

No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, because their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God. (John 3:13-21)


Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture, to exhorting, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity.

Honor widows who are really widows. If a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn their religious duty to their own family and make some repayment to their parents; for this is pleasing in God’s sight. The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; but the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give these commands as well, so that they may be above reproach. And whoever does not provide for relatives, and especially for family members, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old and has been married only once; she must be well attested for her good works, as one who has brought up children, shown hospitality, washed the saints’ feet, helped the afflicted, and devoted herself to doing good in every way.
  (1 Timothy 4:12-5:10)

For a listing of the coming week’s Bible readings click here.

This Saturday, July 28, the Armenian Church remembers the Holy Fathers Athanasius, Cyril, and Gregory the Theologian.
St. Athanasius is known as the “Champion of Orthodoxy,” and the “Father of Orthodoxy.” He served as Bishop of Alexandria for 45 years. He attended the Council of Nicaea where he was regarded as a theologian expert. His biography of St. Antony helped the ascetic movement in Egypt and introduced knowledge of monasticism.
Cyril of Alexandria was a brilliant theologian and like Athanasius is highly esteemed in the Armenian Church. He presided over the third ecumenical council (Ephesus) and wrote treatises on the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, commentaries on the Gospels of John and Luke, and many letters and sermons.
St. Gregory the Theologian , also known as Gregory of Nazianzus, is considered to be one of the four great doctors of the Church during the fourth century, along with Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Athanasius the Great. He was an accomplished and eloquent writer and speaker; some of his sermons and poetry have survived.
On Tuesday, July 31 the Armenian Church remembers the 8 th century Saint Vahan of Goghtn. As a young child Vahan, son of Armenian nobility, was taken (along with other children) to Damascus for education and Islamic training. When they reached adulthood they were given permission to return home. Vahan promised to return to Damascus. While in Armenia his overlord died, and Vahan decided to remain in Armenia, where he married and settled. However, his return was demanded and he was pursued relentlessly. He fled from place to place, but finally decided to surrender and explain that he wished to remain in Armenia and practice his own religion. He was imprisoned, tortured and beheaded. His sister Khosrovidoukht, wrote the melody and lyrics of the sharagan (hymn) dedicated to him.
Also commemorated this week:

Thursday, July 26: Sts. Sophia and her daughters
Monday, July 30: St. Kyriakos  

Participants of the "Huyser" Musical Concert.
Once again, Huyser Music Ensemble of St. Illuminator's Cathedral, with its singers Maria Barsoumian, Ara Yegoryan, and their son Aren, under the artistic direction of Harout Barsoumian and musical director Karine Barsoumian, was able to showcase something new and much bigger than previous shows.
On Saturday, July 21, Huyser presented a first-of-its-kind Armenian musical entitled "We Shall Return Soon," written and directed by Harout Barsoumian, with the participation of the Tekeyan Cultural Association's Mher Megerdchian Theatrical Group. Its epic storytelling, emotionally driven characters, and a sparkling and somehow more contemporary score won over the hearts of the audience at Tony Bennett Concert Hall of the Frank Sinatra School of The Arts in Astoria, New York, who energetically responded to every moment, every song, and every character.
The story of 105-year-old genocide survivor Dikran's journey from Kharpert (Western Armenia) to New York City had a remarkable emotional impact, since there was family, love, friendship, laughter, struggle and success. Harout was able to gather drama, comedy, tragedy, and history under one umbrella that we can proudly call the first ever Broadway-style Armenian musical.
Nothing can stir the soul quite so effectively as music, and no art form can render such a feeling of transformation like theater. Thus, "We Shall Return Soon" was an example of the power of art to transport audiences to another place and time.
Congratulations to all the performers, stage managers, and directors who made this production an unforgettable experience for the audience, who in turn showed its appreciation with a 10-minute standing ovation. 
Death of A. Amatuni
(July 28, 1938)
He was simply known as “Amatuni” when he briefly showed up at the top echelons of Soviet Armenia in the 1930s, but his name became infamous for those who are acquainted with the horrors of Stalinism.

As an irony of history, his actual name was Amatuni Vardapetian, so he descended from a doctor of the Church. There were several Bolshevik militants whose last names show a religious connection, and they would become its greatest persecutors.

Amatuni was born on October 24, 1900, in Elizavetpol (Gandzak, nowadays Ganja), in the region of Lower Gharabagh. His biography is relatively sketchy. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1919, and probably at this time he adopted his first name as his last name.

After working in some positions of leadership within the Communist Youth, Amatuni studied at the Institute of Red Professorship in Moscow (1926-1928) and then returned to Armenia, where he was head of the department of propaganda of the Central Committee of the local Communist Party, then secretary of the provincial committee of Yerevan and of the Central Committee itself. He later moved on and from 1931-1935 he worked in Tbilisi and Baku in similar positions.

Meanwhile, the death of veteran Bolshevik Sergei Kirov, assassinated in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in December 1934, was a signal for the repression of the following years, as it was ascribed to a mythical “right-Trotskyite” center. The latter supposedly responded to Lev Trotsky, who had been expelled from the Soviet Union following his defeat in the power struggle with Stalin. A special committee created during the 20 th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956 noted in its report that from 1935-1940 a total of 1,635,000 people had been arrested for anti-Soviet activities, of which 688,503 were shot to death. Almost ninety percent of those arrests happened in the period 1937-1938.
Amatuni, a henchman of Stalin’s right hand in the Caucasus, Laurenti Beria, was sent back to Armenia as second secretary of the Central Committee from 1935-1936. The repression started in Armenia with the arrest of Nersik Stepanian, director of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, in May 1936. Stepanian was charged as the leader of the “right-Trotskyite” center, which supposedly aimed at ending the Soviet rule in Armenia, separating the country from the Soviet Union, and declaring independence, and shot in July 1937. On July 9, Aghasi Khanjian, first secretary of the Central Committee, was summoned to Tiflis for a meeting with Beria and committed “suicide” (many decades later, it was found out that he had been murdered by Beria himself). On the day of his burial, July 12, there was a meeting of the “party active,” where 23 participants declared that Khanjian was a traitor, chauvinist, sponsor of anti-revolutionary elements, and so on and so forth. He was replaced with Amatuni, who unleashed a series of arrests of party members, intellectuals, clergymen, members of the military, et cetera, with false charges orchestrated by Khachik Mughdusi (Astvatzatrian), Commissar (minister) of Internal Affairs.
This first wave of repression, which lasted until September 1937, included many former party leaders in Soviet Armenia and even many veterans of the sovietization period in 1920-1921. Many famous writers, like Yeghishe Charents, Axel Bakunts, Gurgen Mahari, Vahan Totoventz, Zabel Essayan, and others were also among those who were summarily condemned to death and shot, died in prison, or were sent to exile in Siberia.
The repressors soon became the repressed. The second wave would start with the plenary session of the Central Committee on 20-22 September 1937, with the leading participation of Beria from Tiflis, and Georgi Malenkov and Anastas Mikoyan from Moscow. Amatuni, who had been hailed on September 5 in the party newspaper Khorhrdayin Hayastan as the one who had helped disclose the “wreckers,” was accused of having become the new leader of the “right Trotskyite center” and arrested during the plenary, together with Stepan Akopov, second secretary of the Central Committee, and Mughdusi. He was replaced with Beria’s protégé Grigori Arutiunov, who would last until the death of Stalin and the fall of Beria in 1953.

Nikolai Yezhov, head of the NKVD (the predecessor to the KGB) from 1936-1938, addressed a letter marked “secret” to Stalin on September 22, 1937. He wrote: “Comrade Mikoyan asks to allow shooting a supplement of 700 people with the goal of cleaning Armenia from anti-Soviet elements . . . I suggest to shoot 1,500 people, for a total of 2,000 people including the previously approved number.”  

From 1937-1938, a total of 8,104 people became victim of the repression, including former members of the three Armenian parties (Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Hunchakian Party, and Ramgavar Azadagan Party), and of Socialist parties. The list shows that 3,729 were indicted for anti-Soviet activities, 1,333 for A.R.F. activities, 508 for anti-revolutionary activities, 109 for being Trotskyites, and 9 for chauvinist activities. Almost sixty per cent of the victims of repression (4,530 people) were shot.

Seventy-one of the 106 participants in the “party active” meeting of July 12, 1936, were subsequently liquidated, as well as many executors and witnesses of the crimes committed from 1936-1937. Among them was Amatuni, who was shot in Moscow on July 28, 1938.

Previous entries in “This Week in Armenian History” are on the Prelacy’s website ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).

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(Prepared by Armenian National Education Committee)
Sometimes It Is Not a Line

You traced a line.

You have a call on the first line.

You read between the lines.

You are waiting on a line.

You happen to know a little Armenian word that means “line”: գիծ ( keedz ). If you have enough vocabulary, you may also know that the verb “to line,” գծել ( kudzel ), comes from the same source.

Your issue is solved (or so you think):
  1. “I traced a line”: Գիծ մը քաշեցի (Keedz muh kashetsee)
  2. “I have a call on the first line”: Զանգ մը ունիմ առաջին գիծէն (Zank muh oonim aracheen keedzen)
  3. “I read between the lines”: Գիծերու միջեւ կը կարդամ/կարդացի (Keedzeroo michev guh gartam/gartatsee)
  4. “I am waiting on a line”: Գիծի կը սպասեմ (Keedzee guh usbasem)

The first two are correct, because keedz in Armenian is used both with the meaning of “a succession of points” and “telephone line.”

The last two are wrong. You may use “line” with all those meanings, but it does not mean that other languages, Armenian included, only use one word for all those meanings. (In the same way, other languages, Armenian included, use one word for several meanings, and English has several words instead.)

If you bother to open a dictionary, you will find that “line” does not only mean keedz. If you are talking about the lines in a notebook, or the lines in a poem, or the figurative expression “to read between the lines,” then you should be thinking of տող ( dogh ).

Equally important: when you go to wait on a line, you are not waiting on a keedz . You are actually lined up on a row. Therefore, that is a շարք ( shark ).

If you do not want to look like you translate when you talk, then remember:
  1. “I read between the lines”: Տողերու միջեւ կը կարդամ/կարդացի (Dogheroo michev guh gartam/gartatsee)
  2. “I am waiting on a line”: Շարքի կը սպասեմ (Sharki guh sbasem)
Previous entries in “Armenian Language Corner” are on the Prelacy’s website ( www.armenianprelacy.org ).
SIAMANTO ACADEMY— Meets every second Saturday of the month at the Hovnanian School, 817 River Road, New Milford, New Jersey. New term begins on September 22, 2018. For information: anec@armenianprelacy.org or 212-689-7810.

August 12 —Sts. Vartanantz Church, 461 Bergen Boulevard, Ridgefield, New Jersey, Annual picnic and Blessing of the Grapes, sponsored by Sts. Vartanantz Church and A.R.F. Dro Gomideh. On the church grounds under large tents (in case of rain, head to large hall), 1 pm to 5 pm. Delicious food and desserts; arts and crafts and playground for kids; cards and tavloo.

September 8 —Special session of the Eastern Prelacy’s National Representative Assembly for election of Prelate, will take place at St. Illuminator’s Cathedral, 221 East 27 th Street, New York City. Meeting will begin at 1 pm sharp.

September 21, 2018 to January 13, 2019 —“Armenia!” a large exhibition dedicated to the medieval period of Armenian history and culture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The exhibit is the first at the Met dedicated solely to Armenia. Curated by Dr. Helen C. Evans.

October 20 —Armenian Friends America, Inc., Sixth Annual HYE KEF 5, featuring Onnik Dinkjian, John Berberian, Ara Dinkjian, Mal Barsamian, and Jason Naroian. Double Tree Hotel, Andover, Massachusetts. For information: www.ArmenianFriendsofAmerica.org .

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