Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/51

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beatings. Their bodies were thrown into a corner of the jail yard.

While they were beating Father Rhoupen an officer interfered. He said it was a waste of time to beat the priest, as all priests must be killed anyway. He then turned to Father Rhoupen and told him he could live only if he would forswear Christ and become Mohammedan. If he refused, the officer said, he would be beaten until he died.

Poor Father Rhoupen was almost too weak to answer. When the soldiers dropped him, at the officer’s command, he fell into a heap on the ground. When he tried to speak his head shook and the Turk thought he was signifying he would accept Mohammed.

“Hold him up—on his feet,” the officer ordered.

Two soldiers lifted him. The officer commanded him to repeat the creed of Islam —“There is only one God, and Mohammed is his prophet.”

“There is only one God”—Father Rhoupen began, just as clearly as he could, and with his eyes turned full upon the cruel officer. He stopped for breath, and then went on —“and Jesus Christ, His Son, is my Saviour!”

The officer drew his sword and cut off Father Rhoupen’s head.

Professor Poladian, president of the College, was next told that he might save his life if he would profess Mohammed. Professor Poladian was one of the