Armenians in Burma

   Armenia is an ancient country located north of Iran that has the distinction of being the first to adopt Christianity as its national religion. Adept in trade, Armenian merchants did business in the Middle East, Central Asia, India, and points east. There was a small but prosperous Armenian community in Rangoon (Yangon) following its establishment by King Alaungpaya in 1755, and they constructed their own church around 1766. Under British rule, they remained prominent in the expatriate business community, especially the Sarkies brothers, who opened the Strand, Rangoon's premier hotel, in 1901. However, their numbers remained small, according to the official Rangoon census: 252 in 1921, and 136 ten years later. War, independence, and nationalization under the Ne Win regime further reduced their numbers.
   See also Jews in Burma.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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