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Armenians on the Internet

Pateel Mekhitarian


and www.armenianheritage.com

The Internet is a great tool to find information concerning Armenian history, if one searches in the right places.There are a number of reliable sources which aid in the complete understanding of the Armenian culture, church, and history. A major struggle in the history of the Armenians was the maintenance of their Christian faith. Armenia accepted Christianity as their state religion in 301 A.D., and from this date on, the Armenians managed to prevent conversion and assimilation into other religions.

During the month of February, the Armenian Church pays special attention to a unique Saint, who withstood severe pressure and threat to convert from Christianity to Zoroastrianism. This month is also associated with the remembrances of the famous Battle of Avaryr in 451 AD. St. Vartan Mamigonian was an Armenian Christian general who was in charge for leading the Armenian army against the Persians, in a religious war to keep their faith. During this time, Armenia was partitioned and under Persian rule. Therefore, the Persian king wanted to force the Armenians to adopt the belief of Zoroastrianism and fully assimilate into the Persian Empire. When Vartan Mamigonian and his people denied the king’s offer, the frustrated king sent an army of 220,000 soldiers and an armored elephant brigade to fight the Armenians. While St. Vartan also gathered his people to fight, the Persians outnumbered the Armenians five to one.  The Armenians, although smaller in number, was more powerful in spirit due to their complete devotion to Christianity.

Although the Armenians lost the Battle of Avaryr in 451, their determination left a major impact on the Persians. Vartan Mamigonian was killed in battle and is still remembered for his unforgettable efforts to preserve the culture of the Armenians.  Vartan’s nephew, Vahan Mamigonian, took over Vartan’s position in leading the army, and over a thirty-year process managed to force the Persians to sign a peace treaty. The peace agreement was signed in 484 and allowed for religious freedom for the Armenians. Due to these Armenian heroes, Armenia is still a Christian country.