The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) was founded in 1890 to bring social justice, democracy and national self-determination to the Armenian people on the land of their historic homeland. The ARF’s Program is a living document which establishes the basis for the ARF’s goals and objectives in today’s independent republics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh. The party follows a socialist ideology and is a member of the Socialist Internationale.
The ARF led the effort to establish the first Armenian Republic in 1918. Following Armenia’s Sovietization in 1920, the ARF was banned by the Communists and the ARF’s leadership exiled. During its years in exile from Armenia, the ARF reestablished itself throughout the Armenian Diaspora, fighting from distant shores for a free, united, and independent Armenia. In doing so, the ARF played a leading role in organizing a social and cultural framework aimed at preserving the Armenian identity in Armenian centers throughout the world. The ARF officially re-emerged in Armenia in the aftermath of the USSR’s dissolution in 1990 and today the Party plays an important role in all levels of government in the republics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh. The ARF’s work also continues in Armenian centers around the world.
In the Eastern United States, the ARF established local committees wherever Armenians settled throughout the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwestern areas. The ARF Eastern Region’s newspaper, Hairenik, is the oldest continuing Armenian-language newspaper in the world, established in 1899. The ARF’s leadership proved essential when a large influx of Armenian immigrants sough refuge in the United States in the aftermath of the 1915 Armenian Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Government.
Those immigrants traveled to the shores of the United States in search of a safe haven and a place to live and work in security. It was the ARF’s challenging and awesome task to organize these communities and bring stability and a place of growth and freedom to those displaced from the lands of their ancient homeland. One of the oldest Eastern Region Armenian communities is Worcester, Mass., where the first ARF Eastern Region local committee was formed. Other local committees were quickly established throughout the United States where, today they still contribute to the continued growth and challenges of their local communities and the stability and security of the Armenian Diaspora and the republics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh.