Dr. Frederick Coan as American born in Persia Lectures here
-was eye witness to two of the infamous turkish massacres
-newspapers all over country speak in high terms of his talk
Benton County people will have an opportunity tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm at the Presbyterian church of listening to a man direct from Persia who has been thru the horrors of the Armenian massacres. This man is Dr. Frederick Coan, born in Uramia of American parents and who is now touring this country enlightening his fellow citizens on the terrible conditions the Huns, thru their allies, the Turks, have forced on the Armenians whose only offence is that they are Christians.
In his talk here the other day Ben Selling said that it was our fault that these people are now suffering, that we had sent missionaries there to convert them and that the conversion had caused their slaughter. All of which would be a nice little theory except for the fact that Mr. Selling neglected to get his history on straight before he started, for the Armenians have been Christians since the second century, about the only difference between them and us is in their conception of Christ and the trinity. Theirs is the oldest national Christian church in the world and was founded in its present form by Gregory the Illuminator, and it split off from the Greek Church in 491. It has a legendary foundation that goes back to 34 AD. It corresponds very nearly with the religion of the Greek Church, insists on immersional baptism and requires that the candidate be dipped three times. The missionaries have succeeded in doing this much: they have introduced denominationalism, till there is a split in the church, the “reformed” branch being “Calvinism” and imitative of the American church.
But this article is not to indulge in our favorite indoor amusement of argufying, but to tell about the speaker tomorrow.
He was an eye witnes of the 1894-5 and 1915 massacres in Uramia. He has travelled all over the stricken districts since the deportations.
At the time of the 1894-5 massacres, Dr. Coan earnestly hoped that the Christian powers of the world would take enough interest in the Christians living in the Turkish Empire, to make such massacres in the future impossible. There was talk at this time of establishing a commission, not only to investigate the massacre but to place the Christians under some sort of protection and insure their future safety.
Dr. Coan’s hopes were shattered. The young Turkish party, and agent in the hands of Germany, in 1915 had far exceeded the atrocities of Abdul Hamid in 1894 and 5.
His lecture deals with personal experiences during the two massacres, and with America’s position in regard to them. January 2, 1915, Dr. Coan saw Kurds and Turks break thru the Russian lines in the Northwest of Persia, and sweep down to the South and West, devastating the towns that lay in their wake, exacting ransoms even from the city of Tabriz. The blow fell heaviest of all upon those who had no resisting power, the helpless mother, the frail baby, the innocent child.
Dr. Coan, with twelve ladies and five other men, was confronted with a problem of protecting beneath the Stars and Stripes twenty thousand refugees. Eighteen thousand of them were crowded into the American Mission and for five months, with no telegraphic or postal communication with the outside world, Dr. Coan and his small handful of men and women did their best to care for these people.
This lecture is free of charge and there will be NO COLLECTION.
Dr. Coan shows that this whole trouble was “made in Germany” and every patriotic citizen desiring more and first hand information will be abundantly filled, interested and entertained