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Το περιοδικό missionary herald: Μια αθησαύριστη πηγή για την ιστορία του Μικρασιατικού ελληνισμού


Δημοσιευμένα: Jan 1, 1995
Κωνσταντίνα Κισκήρα
Περίληψη

The ABCFM (American Board of Commisioners for Foreign Missions) was
organized at Bradford, Massachusetts, 1810 by a little band of men dedicating
themselves to be missionaries to the heathen. Most of these men were students of
secret religious societies at Andover Theological Seminary, by that time,
Andover Theological Seminary was re-invigorating New England Congregationalism.
Thus, with a comparative cosmopolitan outlook, the American Board (now
United Church Board for World Ministries) in the early nineteenth century was
taking missions around the world.
The attention of American Christians was first turned to the Ottoman Empire
as a field for missionary effort, when PI. Fisk and L. Parsons were selected to
begin a mission to Palestine 1819. It soon became evident that there was no hope
of reaching the Jews and the Moslems in Palestine, so the first thing to be done
was to attempt to reform the Oriental Churches.
Thus the ABCFM led the foundations of the Syrian Mission (1823), the
Armenian Mission (1830-1831), the Mission to Greece (1831) and the Nestorian
Mission (1834). Mission stations, schools, medical work and publications were
initiated among the Bulgarians in 1858 and educational work was began among
the Albanians in 1889.
Driven by a compelling sense of Christian duty among hostility isolation and
deprivation, the American Board Missionaries persisted in founding schools,
mission presses and hospitals in the Ottoman Empire for over a century.
The organ of the American Board was its monthly publication, the Missionary
Herald ( 1820-1832).
Information about the Ottoman Empire covers approximately 25-30% of the
material in each issue. Data concerning Greece is limited to the years 1831-1869,
while information about the Greeks living under Turkish occupation is dispersed

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over 100 years. The Journal is scarcely known in the Greek bibliography; it is
nonetheless a mine of social, cultural, and other information. It is particularly
valuable to an understanding of the Greek and Anatolian regions during this
period, and its special worth lies in the way in which facts and occurances are
documented. They provide not simply a recording of events, but a glimpse into
the way of life of greeks in even the most remote regions of the Ottoman Empire.