Sunday, June 12, 2011

Holy New Martyrs of Ajaria

Joyous feast! In Georgia the Sunday of Pentecost is also the commemoration of the Holy New Martyrs of Ajaria who suffered under the Turkish Yoke in the 18th century.

When Ajaria, a region in what today is southwestern Georgia, was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire its Turkish rulers strongly encouraged its Georgian inhabitants to convert to Islam in the hope of detaching the area from its long association with the rest of Orthodox Georgia. As part of this push to convert Ajaria to Islam in 1790 the area's rulers organized a massacre of those who were steadfast in their Orthodox Faith and were encouraging others to likewise resist Islam, with the faithful being tortured and guillotined and their bodies dumped in Ajaria's rivers.

More (in Russian) on the sufferings of the Ajarian New Martyrs can be found here. May their blessings and prayers be with us all!

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