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Johannes Lepsius

1858-1926. Founder of the German Orient Mission. Son of a noted Egyptologist, his acquaintance with the East began as a child. A Lutheran pastor, he was deeply moved by the Armenian massacres of 1894-95, and his 1896 tract indicting Turkish policies received European-wide notice. In 1895 he established a German relief organization for Armenia which soon consisted of orphanages, medical clinics, and a carpet factory in Urfa, Turkey, to provide employment. In 1900 Lepsius transformed this into the German Orient Mission and endeavored to evangelize Muslims, but with little success. Most of its properties were lost in World War I, but it did carry on a relief work among the Armenian diaspora and a small Muslim mission which the Berlin Mission took over in 1937.