Armenian people come from northeastern Turkey and what is now the Republic of Armenia, a mountainous area in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. The republic lies between southwest Asia and eastern Europe and is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east and Iran to the south.
More than three million Armenians live in the republic, and 40,000 to 70,000 remain in Turkey. Large numbers live in Azerbaijan, Georgia and other areas of the Caucasus and the Middle East. Five million people of Armenian descent live outside their ancestral home. Large populations reside in Russia, the United States, France, Georgia, Iran, Lebanon and Syria.
Armenians were dispersed from their original homeland mainly as a result of the Armenian genocide at the outbreak of World War I. In 1915 the Turks viewed the Armenians as a dangerous foreign element occupying the region and attempted to deport the entire Armenian population of about 1,750,000 to Syria and Mesopotamia. An estimated 600,000 Armenians died of starvation or were killed. Only about one-third escaped deportation. In 2014, Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation. Some refer to Armenia as the first Christian nation, since it became the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD.