entire nights in prayer on behalf of those he labored for, and a holy atmosphere was said to surround him. He preached with unbelievable power and members were added to the church daily under his ministry. On August 1, 1916, Diran was imprisoned on the trumped-up charge of plotting against the government by spreading subversive teachings. Jailed in a large
ward, all Diran saw were men for whom Christ died. After a month, influential friends orchestrated Diran’s release, but when guards came to free him, he begged them to allow him to finish his sermon. As World War I dragged on, Diran was drafted into the army and severely tried for his beliefs again. Appearing before the highest military tribunals, he eloquently bore witness to the truth. When the war ended in November 1918, Diran rallied the Adventists in Constantinople and established new groups of believers. When Diamondola, the teenage translator, fell ill and died, Diran hurried to her home. Met by her two weeping nurses, he was led to the bed where the dead girl lay. Grasping the nurses’ hands, Diran asked if they believed in the power of God to raise
Left: Adventist meeting house in Istanbul. Above: A scene from the Armenian Death March.
radiating love and faith in Jesus, was the last they heard from him. T h e f i n a l d a y s of Diran’s life were related by one of his converts. He reported that Diran was found guilty of preaching a new religion and forming a new church. He was sentenced to exile in what became known as a death march or the Armenian Genocide. Forced to walk in chains for days with little food or water, Left to right: Nicolos Tefronides, colporteur; Diran was taunted by Diran Chrakian; Paul Bridde, missionary in Turkey; fellow prisoners crying, Emil Frauchiger, minister; and Diamondola, “Where is Jesus whom you translator and missionary in Turkey. trust?” Undaunted, Diran preached to his tormentors of the love of Christ the dead. Both women nodded. As until a brutal fever crippled him. Some Diran prayed, the room seemed to of the exiles whom he had converted be filled with the very presence of carried Diran as far as they could. God. Upon finishing, he rose, strode When they could bear him no longer, over to the bed, took Diamondola’s they constructed a crude sedan for lifeless hand in his, and said, “In the his inert body. When this grew too name of Jesus Christ I say unto you, burdensome, they bargained with a arise.” The nurses, still kneeling with soldier to let the dying man ride on eyes closed, ventured a peek toward horseback. the bed. To their amazement, they saw After days in the harsh desert, Diamondola stir, then sit up. Diran his friends rejoiced as the cavalcade directed them to bring her some milk, came upon a meadow. There they and they complied, beside themselves gently lowered the dying Diran onto with excitement. a bed of grass. His last words to his For the next two years, Diran converts were to love each other and blazed across Asia Minor in the same have faith in God. Diran Chrakian cities where the apostle Paul had died on July 8, 1921. labored. In April 1921, he wrote to Adventists in Constantinople that Benjamin Baker is the assistant he had been imprisoned and asked archivist at the Seventh-day Adventist them to pray for him as he witnessed Church world headquarters. to prisoners and guards. The letter,