Armenians Tortured and Killed or Imprisoned.
Rev. J. L. Barton Speaks of Outrages Committed on Account of Religion.
About 250 persons attended the meeting at the Lafayette Sunday afternoon on behalf of the Armenian and Syrian relief given under the auspices of the local committee. Rev. Stanley C. hughes, director of Trinity Church, presided and made a brief address in opening, in which he spoke of an experience in his college days, when one of the subjects for essays was the outrages committed by the Turks against the Armenians. These have continued to the present day.
The first speaker was Rev. Mr. Kelsey, minister of the Friends’ Church in Portsmouth, who was a missionary in Palestine several years. He spoke of the cruel treatment of the Jews by the Turks, the men being taken from their homes and families and driven in herds to build military roads, and the borrowing sights which he had witnessed n connection with those outrages. The men have been driven like cattle to do service work, the women have been imprisoned and the children left to shift for themselves as best they can. Within the past few months Palestine has suffered from famine brought on by the devastations of locusts from war, and from war, and from pestilence, cholera and typhus which have killed tens of thousands and the distress is heartrending. If one wishes to appreciate the benefits of living under the Stars and Stripes he has only to live a few years in Turkey.
Mr. A. H. Boyzian of this city gave an appealing story of the atrocities committed by the Turks against the Armenians telling of his own experience in 1894, when his father and 60 of his relatives were tortured and killed or imprisoned. The Armenians are true Christians and when offered the alternative of becoming Mohammedny or death chose the latter. He told of the tortures to which his father was subjected first having his hands cut off, than other parts of the body, and finally two deep slashes in the form of a cross made on the body. The Armenian race has suffered because of its adherence to Christianity and in spite of all the atrocities is still faithful, it being the national pride that so many have died in the faith.
Rev. J. L. Barton D.D. a former missionary in Turkey and now foreign secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions , spoke nearly 10 minutes of the outrages of the Turks upon the Armenians, Syrians, Jews and Greeks on account of their religion. Turkey he said, lies in the way from Berlin to Bagdad, and hence on the Invasion of India. The removal of these peoples who are imposed to the Mohammedan religion is a military necessity for Turkey. The first blow was aimed at the Armenians who are a powerful intellectual people, the Yankees of the East, the first Eastern people to adopt Christianity as a national religion. After 1000 years of suffering on this account they remain firm in their faith. The reports of the atrocities committed by the Turks against the Armenians have not been exaggerated; the atrocities are even worse, as it has been impossible to write the stories of the crimes.
Later the Turks turned their anger against the Syrians in the south, then against the Jews and last against the Greeks. The Armenians Syrians and Greeks represent the ancient Christian church and stand in the path of Mohammodanism. Nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, 200,000 Syrians and 200,000 Greeks, and in addition 100,000 Jews have been murdered, outraged or imprisoned, and countless others made destitute.
The relief which has been sent has been inadequate and large sums are needed every day. The people of those countries look to the United States for help and the Armenian and Syrian relief committee is undertaking the great work. Many of the refugees in Russia, Persia, Egypt and the Balkans can be reached and the American committee is sending its workers to these camps and is finding that in spite of war conditions it can do much to aid the sufferers. The committee needs $150,000 monthly, $3 in supporting one orphan child a month.
A collection was taken at the conclusion of the address, many contributing cash and others making pledges to give regularly for the relief.