Little sisters of Jesus in Armenia: Br Charles prepared the way.

'Armenia is a small country between Turkey and the Caspian Sea. There are Armenians scattered throughout the Middle East; they are one of the oldest Christian populations in existence. Brother Charles was a witness to a sad chapter in their history when was living as a Trappist in Akbes, Syria. Beginning in 1895, Ottoman Turks massacred over 1.500,000 Armenians, and that was just a prelude to the genocide of the early 20th century.

Monastery of Akbes where Brother Charles lived as a Trappist monkMonastery of Akbes where Brother Charles lived as a Trappist monk

The persecutions reached Akbes in 1896. The silent complicity of the 'Great Powers' was a source of particular outrage to him. He wrote in June of that year: 'All around us, there were horrors... massacres, fires, and looting...' The troops in Marach, the closest town to us, killed 4,500 Christians in just two days.' The Europeans have been placed under the protection of the Turkish government; they have even posted soldiers at our gate to make sure that no one harms us. It is so painful to be in good standing with those who cut the throats of our brothers. Shame on Europe. With one word they could have prevented these horrors but did not. It is also true that the outside world knows very little about what goes on here. The Turkish government has paid off the press, giving enormous sums of money to certain newspapers so that they only publish the official press releases.But the governments know what is going on through their embassies and consulates.'

Armenian monasteryArmenian monasteryAshotzkAshotzk