An Armenian family in Spain has been forced to abandon their faith after their belief in God became a source of friction between them and their Armenian neighbours.
The family is from the province of Kayseri, a place known for its large Armenian community.
“I don’t know why my brother and I are religious, we are not religious people,” said Ali Zorin, the eldest son of the family, who now lives in the southern city of Malaga.
“It was only after we got married and had children that we started to feel the need to convert.”
The family had previously only believed in the ancient and mystical teachings of their religion, which is known as Dahaism, which was founded in India by a group of monks.
The name Daha is derived from a word for God, which means “The One”.
But the family’s beliefs were eventually influenced by the teachings of a charismatic Armenian cleric, who claimed that God is the same as Jesus Christ and that he has sent his son to bring peace.
The cleric has since been arrested on suspicion of spreading false information and for inciting religious hatred, but the family has not yet received any official support from the authorities.
“We had been living with God and God has sent him here.
God sent Jesus Christ,” said Zorini, a 34-year-old father of four.
“But God sent us here for something.
This is our life.
This has nothing to do with Christianity or any other religion.”
But Ali’s brother, Oleg, was more adamant.
“The main thing we have is our own belief.
Our faith is a spiritual one,” he said.
“And we believe in our belief.”
The family had originally adopted the name Dala, but they converted to Daha in 2008.
They started a small church with a small congregation in their neighbourhood, but eventually expanded their mission to include an entire Armenian community in Spain, which had a large Armenian diaspora.
Oleg said the church is now the largest Armenian church in the region, and that it has become an important symbol of the Armenian community there.
“We had a dream to build this church,” he told Al Jazeera.
“Our aim was to build it in the heart of Barcelona.
The Armenians are living in the centre of the city.
In 2010, the community began to organise to start a new Armenian church.
But in 2011, the authorities announced that the building would be demolished.
It was the end of an era.
This was not our dream,” Oleg said. “
If we had had the opportunity to build a new church, we would have built it.
This was not our dream,” Oleg said.
Despite the fact that they had been the subject of intense persecution, the family had never given up on their belief, and the couple hoped that the city authorities would take them seriously.
“This was our hope that they would understand us and that they might help us,” Oeg said.
“But there are no answers for us,” Ali said.