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Exaltation of the Cross

The cross had a rather gruesome place in the history of punishment. Originating in Persia, it was used by the Romans as a deterrent—against mutinous troops, conquered peoples, and to wear down cities under siege. Those condemned to it would be flogged first, forced to carry the cross or one of its beams, then nailed or tied to it where it would take many hours, sometimes days, to die a painful death. But with Jesus' death, the cross was transformed into a vehicle of salvation. On it, the Son of God died; and by means of His death, rose again, making it possible for all to join Him in eternal life.

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Holy Etchmiadzin

Etchmiadzin was built on the site of settlement called Vardkesavan after Prince Vardkes. The renowned Armenian historian Movses Khorenatzi (Moses of Khorene) writes that under King Vagarshak this rapidly growing and thriving settlement was fortified by a wall and a large rampart and renamed Vagarshapat or Nor-Kakhak (New Town).

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Genocide Remembrance

The Armenian Genocide—the first genocide of the 20th century—took the lives of 1.5 million Armenians, who were massacred by Ottoman Turkey's "Young Turk" government beginning in 1915. Every year Armenians worldwide commemorate the Genocide on April 24.

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