Armenian identity

  • by Western Armenia, March 12, 2024 in History

Hamshens, Christianity and Islam

Christianity began to spread in the Armenian geographical region from the 1st century, but since the Armenian kings did not accept Christianity for many years, the Christians had to hide their identity and suffer hardships. And in 301 Christianity is officially accepted as the national religion.

Historian Ghevond writes that the Armenian community, the ancestors of the Hamshen people, migrated to Hamshe in 789-790. Therefore, when the Armenian community came to the region, it was already Christian. Before the establishment of Ottoman rule, this topic was not much discussed.

Before the establishment of Ottoman rule, this topic was not much discussed. We can say that after this region fell under the Ottoman rule, as a result of the settlement of the Muslim population on the one hand, and the tax policy on the other hand, the population of the region began to become Islamized. In 1530 38.1% of Hamshen's population was Muslim, 61.9% was non-Muslim in the records of the geographical registers.

Acharyan writes in his work "Analysis of Hamshen Dialect" that at the beginning of the 20th century there were 20,000 Christians and slightly more Muslim Hamshens.

It is known that there were small inhabited communities in the Hamshen region, but it had the opposite result. Some of the tribes living in Hamshen, due to some problems with the local residents, settled outside Hamshen region in Childir. Among these groups there were Circassian groups and other communities, which the Hamshen people called tent-dwelling Kurds.

When we pay attention to the fact that according to the geography of Hamshen, the majority of the population has unfavorable characteristics of sheltering, then it can be said that the Islamization of Hamshensians did not happen at the expense of the resettled people, but as a result of the Islamization of the Christian Hamshensian Armenians living in the region.

One of the influential factors in the process of Islamization of the region is the annual increase of the Muslim Hamshen Armenians, as well as the fact that as a result of the increase, they began to migrate the Christian Hamshen Armenians to the west.

There are records in the Ottoman archives to the effect that in Hodochur, due to the intervention of the villagers of Chamuchu, Catholic Armenians, the law and order was violated.

Having this information in mind, we can say that the Islamization process of Hamshen, which started after the region came under Ottoman rule, was completed in 1915. with the genocide of the last Christian Hamshen people and the migration of the survivors to the opposite shore of the Black Sea.