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Document Details :
Title: The Socio-Economic Conditions in New Julfa Post-1650
Subtitle: The Impact of Coversions to Islam on Armenian Eurasian Trade
Author(s): BAGHDIANTZ McCABE, I.
Journal: Revue des Études Arméniennes
Volume: 26 Date: 1996-1997
The social and economic conditions which drove many Armenian merchants to desert their homes in the suburb of New Julfa in Safavid Iran at the end of the seventeenth century deserve closer study. Although the few extant scholarly works on the prosperous suburb of New Julfa invariably refer to the onset of religious tension at the end of the century, none explore the impact of conversions on the wealthy community. Many sources provide vivid passages which remain unexploited. Among the subjects most neglected is conversion to Islam, which emerges as a formidable challenge to the community and a major aspect of daily life in New Julfa mid-century onwards. Unlike Armenian communities elsewhere, such as the community of Poland in the seventeenth century, which was united with the Roman Catholic Church, the majority of the New Julfa population remained affiliated to the Armenian Apostolic Church. While episodes of forced conversions among other Armenian groups within Iran also remain to be studied, the New Julfa community, privileged and exempt from persecution, has not even been considered for conversions to Islam.