Armenian people are those people who originate from Armenian. They do not constitute all people who could claim ancestral Armenian descent. Many of Armenian descent, due to their being several generations historically, might claim Armenian ancestry but in all actuality do not practice or adhere to that which would cause them to be separate from other mainstream North Americans.
The Armenian people began to arrive immediately before and continuing into the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. They came from the Republic of Armenia and other former Soviet republics for political reasons and economic opportunities. They began settling in older established Armenian communities. Over the last ten years at least 20,000 foreign born Armenians migrated to North America. Middle Eastern Armenians continue to migrate contributing to California in the United States having the highest Armenian American population.
Seta Kazandjian describes Armenian communities as follows:
Waves of immigration into the Los Angeles area have resulted in the formation of strong communities in neighborhoods and cities such as Hollywood, Glendale. and North Hollywood. In these neighborhoods, an Armenian can live a very active social and occupational life and receive many services without speaking a word of English and interacting only with Armenians. Armenian-speaking food vendors, pharmacists, physicians, dentists, lawyers, tailors, hair stylists, shop owners and mechanics are all available. Up to three different 24-hour Armenian language television and radio channels are available. There are various social activities to attend for the Armenian community every day. Therefore, individuals exist who are not acculturated at all to the dominant American culture, as well as those who have chosen to separate from the Armenian community and acculturate completely, and many who are in the middle of acculturation spectrum. (Kazandjian, Seta, 2006.
The Effects of Bilingualism and Acculturation on Neuropsychological Test Performance: A Study with Armenian Americans. ProQuest. pp. 27–28.)
Armenian language spoken at home becomes an identifying mark of those who have not acculturated into mainstream American culture. Another factor involves protecting Armenian customs and culture (e.g. architecture, music, and art—from extinction such as folk dances). This sense of duty makes them resist assimilation. Moreover, they maintain their own schools, churches, associations, local
hantesses (festivals) and networks of intra-marriage and friendship.
Most Armenian Americans are adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the largest Oriental Orthodox church. Estimates are that 80% of Armenians are Armenian Apostolic, 10% are Protestant (mostly Armenian Evangelical) and 3% are Armenian Catholic.
Pray that they will experience Christ both as a Savior and friend for everyday life.
Pray that God would call out evangelical Armenians cross-culturally to minister among the least reached peoples in North America and beyond.
Pray that evangelical Armenians will understand and faithfull fulfill their place in serving in God's kingdom among all the nations.
"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb." (Revelation 7:9, NIV)