The New York Times10 April 1915


Presbyterian, Missionaries Need It to Feed 10,000 Refugees.

A fearful rate of mortality among the 10,000 refugees crowded into the yards of the American Mission at Urumiah, where it is said 5,000 persons could scarcely, find accommodation, is reported in a communication received here yesterday through the State Department at Washington by the Presbyterian Board of foreign Missions. So great was the danger of attack, it is said in the communication, that for a while it was unsafe for any one to leave the premises, and consequently the bodies of the dead could not be buried. Later, when the way was opened, one missionary was kept busy attending to the burial of the dead. At times an average of forty refugees died every day.

The communication, which is a copy of one sent to F. W. Smith, American Consul at Tiflis, Transcaucasia, by the Rev. Robert M. Labaree of Urumiah, described in detail the flight of Christians not only from Urumiah, but from all Azerbajan Province, after the withdrawal of the Russian troops, and then continues as follows:

"It is estimated that in all 12,000 took refuge in our mission compounds of Urumiah, while 3,000 more were given, shelter at the French Mission.

Those who took refuge with us were unharmed, while villages where being plundered and burned, and hundreds of lives were being lost."

Mr. Labaree asks that the Red Cross Society, be informed of the plight of the Christians in Urumiah. He has asked the Board of Foreign Missions to furnish the mission with $50,000 for its immediate needs.

The New York Times