Armenian Apostolic Church
Paradaise, taken from an Armenian Manuscript (1693)
It is sometimes referred to as the Armenian Orthodox Church
or the Armenian Gregorian Church
. The term Gregorian Church is not preferred by the church itself, as it views the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, and St. Gregory the Illuminator
as merely the first official governor of the church. It is also known simply as the Armenian Church
The Armenian Orthodox Church believes in apostolic succession
through the apostles Bartholomew
and Thaddeus of Edessa
According to tradition, the latter of the two apostles is said to have cured Abgar V
of leprosy with the Image of Edessa
, leading to his conversion in 30 AD. Thaddaeus was then commissioned by Abgar to proselytize throughout Armenia, where he converted the king Sanatruk
's daughter, who was eventually martyred
alongside Thaddeus when Sanatruk later fell into apostasy
. After this, Bartholomew came to Armenia, bringing a portrait of the Virgin Mary
, which he placed in a nunnery
he founded over a former temple of Anahit
. Bartholomew then converted the sister of Sanatruk, who once again martyred a female relative and the apostle who converted her. Both apostles ordained native bishops before their execution, and some other Armenians had been ordained outside of Armenia by James the Just
Scholars including Bart Ehrman
, Han Drijvers, and W. Bauer dismiss the conversion of Abgar V
When King Tiridates III made Christianity the state religion of Armenia between 301 and 314, it was not an entirely new religion there. It had penetrated the country from at least the third century, and may have been present even earlier.
Tiridates declared Gregory to be the first Catholicos
of the Armenian Orthodox Church and sent him to Caesarea to be consecrated. Upon his return, Gregory tore down shrines to idols, built churches and monasteries, and ordained many priests
. While meditating in the old capital city of Vagharshapat
, Gregory had a vision of Christ descending to the earth and striking it with a hammer. From that spot arose a great Christian temple with a huge cross. He was convinced that God intended him to build the main Armenian church there. With the king's help he did so in accordance with his vision, renaming the city Etchmiadzin
, which means "the place of the descent of the Only-Begotten
As Gregory was consecrated by the bishop of Caesarea, he also accepted the Byzantine Rite
. However, the Armenian Church, due to the influence of the Church in Edessa
, the large presence of Syriacs
in Armenia, as well as the number of Syriac priests that arrived in Armenia with Gregory, also cultivated the West Syriac Rite
(Antiochian Rite). Since Armenians at the time didn't have an alphabet, its clergy learned Greek
and Syriac language
. From this synthesis, the new Armenian Rite
came about, which had similarities both with the Byzantine and the Antiochian
Christianity was strengthened in Armenia in the 5th century by the translation of the Bible
into the Armenian language
by the native theologian
, and scholar
, Saint Mesrop Mashtots
. Before the 5th century, Armenians had a spoken language, but it was not written. Thus, the Bible and Liturgy
were written in Greek
or Syriac rather than Armenian. The Catholicos Sahak commissioned Mesrop to create the Armenian alphabet
, which he completed in 406. Subsequently, the Bible and Liturgy were translated into Armenian and written in the new script. The translation of the Bible, along with works of history, literature
, caused a flowering of Armenian literature and a broader cultural renaissance.
Although unable to attend the Council of Ephesus
(431), Catholicos Isaac Parthiev sent a message agreeing with its decisions.
However, non doctrinal elements in the Council of Chalcedon
(451) caused certain problems to arise.
At the First Council of Dvin
in 506 the synod of the Armenian, Georgian, and Caucasian Albanian
bishops were assembled during the reign of Catholicos Babken I. The participation of the Catholicoi of Georgia
were set to make clear the position of the churches concerning the Council of Chalcedon. The "Book of Epistles" mentions that 20 bishops, 14 laymen, and many nakharars
(rulers of Armenia) participated in the council. The involvement in the council discussion of different levels of lay persons seemed to be a general rule in Armenia.
Almost a century later (609–610) the 3rd Council of Dvin was convened during the reign of Catholicos Abraham I of Aghbatank and Prince Smbat Bagratuni, with clergymen and laymen participating. The Georgian Church disagreed with the Armenian Church, having approved the christology of Chalcedon. This council was convened to clarify the relationship between the Armenian and Georgian churches. After the Council, Catholicos Abraham wrote an encyclical letter addressed to the people, blaming Kurion and his adherents for the schism. The Council never set up canons; it only deprived Georgians from taking Communion
in the Armenian Church.
Despite this, the Albanian Church remained under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Church while in communion with the Georgian Church.
Miaphysitism versus monophysitism
However, again like other Oriental Orthodox
the Armenian Orthodox Church argues that the identification as "monophysitism" is an incorrect description of its position.
It considers Monophysitism, as taught by Eutyches
and condemned at Chalcedon, a heresy and only disagrees with the formula defined by the Council of Chalcedon.
The Armenian Church instead adheres to the doctrine defined by Cyril of Alexandria
, considered as a saint by the Chalcedonian Churches
as well, who described Christ as being of one incarnate nature, where both divine and human nature are united (miaphysis). To distinguish this from Eutychian
and other versions of Monophysitism this position is called miaphysitism
Whereas the prefix "mono-" (< Greek
μονο- < μόνος) means "single, alone, only",
thus emphasising the singular nature of Christ, "mia" (μία "one" FEM),
simply means "one" unemphatically, and allows for a compound nature.
In recent times, both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian churches have developed a deeper understanding for each other's positions, recognizing their substantial agreement while maintaining their respective positions.
Structure and leadership
Procession of Armenian Priests.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the central religious authority for the Armenian Orthodox population in Armenia
as well as for Armenian Orthodox communities worldwide.
It is headed by a Catholicos
(the plural is Catholicoi
). It is traditional in Eastern churches for the supreme head of the church to be named 'Patriarch
', but in the Armenian Apostolic Church hierarchy, the position of the Catholicos is not higher than that of the Patriarch. The Armenian Apostolic Church presently has two catholicoi (Karekin II
, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Aram I
, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia), and two patriarchs, plus primates
, lower clergy and laity serving the Church.
Both clergy and laity are involved in the administrative structure of the Church. Led by Karekin II, the spiritual and administrative work of the Armenian Church is carried out in Armenia in the areas of religion, preparation of clergy, Christian education, construction of new churches, social services, and ecumenical activities.
The following sees have their own jurisdiction:
The three aforementioned historic hierarchical sees administer to the dioceses under their jurisdiction as they see fit, while there is only spiritual authority of the Catholicosate of All Armenians.
Armenian Church in Madras
, India, constructed in 1712
In addition to the responsibilities of overseeing their respective Dioceses, each hierarchical See, and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, has a Monastic Brotherhood.
The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin operates two seminaries
, the Gevorkian Theological Seminary
at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, and the Vaskenian Theological Academy
at Lake Sevan. Over a 6-year course of simultaneous study, students receive both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in Theology. The Great House of Cilicia operates one seminary, the Seminary of Antelias at Bikfaya
, Lebanon. Upon graduation, students receive the equivalent of a high school diploma and pre-graduate theological study.
The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem operates the St. Tarkmanchatz School (high school diploma) as well as the Theological Seminary of the Patriarchate. Graduates from the Theological Seminary can become ordained priests..
The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople had its own seminary, the Holy Cross Patriarchal Seminary, which was shut down by Turkish authorities in Turkey along with all other private schools of higher education.
Regionally, each area of the world where the Armenian Church and faithful are located has dioceses
, which are led by a primate from the Diocesan headquarters. Each diocese is made up of parishes and smaller communities.
The spiritual and administrative bodies representing the authority of the Armenian Church are the following:
The National Ecclesiastical Assembly is the supreme legislative body presided over by the Catholicos of All Armenians. The members of the National Ecclesiastical Assembly are elected by the individual Diocesan Assemblies. The National Ecclesiastical Assembly elects the Catholicos of All Armenians.
The Council of Bishops is an administrative-deliberative body presided over by the Catholicos of All Armenians. It makes suggestions on the dogmatic, religious, church, parish and canonical issues to be discussed as agenda items during the National Ecclesiastical Assembly.
The Supreme Spiritual Council is the highest executive body of the Armenian Church and is presided over by the Catholicos of All Armenians. The members of the Council can be elected by the National Ecclesiastical Assembly or appointed by the Catholicos of All Armenians. The Catholicos of All Armenians, Gevorg V. Soorenian established the Supreme Spiritual Council on January 1, 1924, to replace the Synod of Bishops.
The Diocesan Assembly is the highest legislative (canonical) body of each Diocese and is headed by the Primate of the Diocese. The Diocesan delegates (representatives of each parish community) elect the delegates to the National Ecclesiastical Assembly, the members of the Diocesan Council as well as discuss and decide on administrative issues within the Diocese such as committees, budgets, building, etc. In some Dioceses, the Diocesan Assembly elects the Primate of the Diocese.
The Diocesan Council is the highest executive power of a diocese, presided over by the Primate of the Diocese. It regulates the inner administrative activity of the Diocese under the direction of the Primate. The Diocesan Assembly elects members of the Diocesan Council.
The Monastic Brotherhood
consists of the celibate
clergy of the monastery
who are led by an abbot
. As of 2010, there were three brotherhoods in the Armenian Church – the brotherhood of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the brotherhood of St. James at the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the brotherhood of the See of Cilicia. Each Armenian celibate priest becomes a member of the brotherhood in which he has studied and ordained in or under the jurisdiction of which he has served. The brotherhood makes decisions concerning the inner affairs of the monastery. Each brotherhood elects two delegates who take part in the National Ecclesiastical Assembly.
The Parish Assembly is the general assembly of the community presided over by the spiritual pastor. The Parish Assembly elects or appoints the members of the Parish Council and the representatives or delegates to the Diocesan Assembly.
The Parish Council is the executive-administrative body of the community. It is presided over by the spiritual pastor of the community who takes up the inner administrative affairs of the parish and is engaged in the realization of its administrative and financial activities. Members of the parish council are elected or appointed at the parish assembly.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of a few apostolic churches in the world to have a democratic system; the people decide if they want to keep priests in their churches and may ask for different ones, as do some other ecclesiastical constitutions, such as Baptists
and other Congregational
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
: Մայր Աթոռ Սուրբ Էջմիածին) is the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the worldwide Armenian Church, the center of the faith of the Armenian nation – the Mother Cathedral of the Armenian Church, and the Pontifical residence of Karekin II
Preserving the past are the numerous museums, libraries and the Mother Cathedral itself, in which many historically and monetarily precious items are contained. The Mother See is responsible for the preservation of artifacts, both those created by the Church and those given to the church as gifts over time.
Under the leadership and guidance of Karekin II, the Mother See administers social, cultural and educational programs for Armenia and the Diaspora.
It is said that St. Gregory chose the location of the Cathedral in accordance with a vision. In his dream he saw "Miatsin
", the Only Begotten Son of God, with glittering light on his face descending from the Heavens and with a golden hammer striking the ground where the Cathedral was to be located. Hence comes the name "Etchmiadzin", which translates literally to "the place" where Miatsin descended.
The Mother Cathedral is open every day; Divine Liturgy
is celebrated every Sunday.
Great House of Cilicia
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral (1940) in Antelias
As of 2012 Catholicos Aram I
was the head and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia. The See has jurisdiction over prelacies in Lebanon, Syria
, the Persian Gulf, the United States, Canada and Venezuela
. In the United States, Canada, Syria, and Greece there are also Dioceses that are related to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, so there is duality of representation of the Armenian Apostolic churches in these countries.
The primacy of the Catholicosate of All Armenians (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin) has always been recognized by the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia.
The rise of the Great House of Cilicia as an autocephalous church occurred after the fall of Ani and the Armenian Kingdom of the Bagradits in 1045. Masses of Armenians migrated to Cilicia
and the Catholicosate was established there. The seat of the church (now known as the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia) was first established in Sivas
(AD 1058) moving to Tavbloor (1062), then to Dzamendav (1066), Dzovk (1116), Hromgla
(1149), and finally to Sis
(1293), then-capital of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
. Beginning in 1293 and continuing for more than six centuries, the city of Sis (modern-day Kozan, Adana
, Turkey) was the center of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia.
After the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia
, in 1375, the Church continued in its leadership role in the Armenian community, and the Catholicos was recognized as Ethnarch (Head of Nation).
In 1441 Kirakos I Virapetsi of Armenia was elected Catholicos in Holy Etchmiadzin
. At the same time the residing Catholicos in Sis, Gregory IX Mousabegian
(1439–1446), remained as Catholicos of Cilicia
. Since 1441, there have continued to be two Catholicosates in the Armenian Church, each having rights and privileges, and each with its own jurisdiction.
During the First World War
and the 1915 Armenian Genocide
, the Armenian population and the home of the Catholicosate at the Monastery of St. Sophia of Sis (which can be seen to dominate the town in early 20th-century photographs), was destroyed.
The last residing Catholicos in Sis was Sahag II of Cilicia
(Catholicos from 1902 to 1939), who followed his Armenian flock into exile from Turkey.
Reasons for the division
The division of the two Catholicosates stemmed from frequent relocations of Church headquarters due to political and military upheavals.
The division between the two sees intensified during the Soviet
period and to some extent reflected the politics of the Cold War
. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation
(ARF) Dashnaktsutyun social democratic political party that had dominated the independent Armenia from 1918 to 1920 and was active in the diaspora, saw the Church and clergy, with its worldwide headquarters at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in the Soviet Republic of Armenia
, as a captive Communist puppet, and accused its clergy in the United States as unduly influenced by Communists, particularly as the clergy were reluctant to participate in nationalist events and memorials that could be perceived as anti-Soviet.
On December 24, 1933, a group of assassins attacked Eastern Diocese Archbishop Levon Tourian
as he walked down the aisle of Holy Cross Armenian Church
in the Washington Heights
neighborhood of New York City during the Divine Liturgy, and killed him with a butcher's knife. Nine ARF members were later arrested, tried and convicted. The incident divided the Armenian community, as ARF sympathizers established congregations independent of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, declaring loyalty instead to the See based in Antelias in Lebanon. The division was formalized in 1956 when the Antelias (Cilician) See accepted to provide spiritual and religious guidance to those communities that the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin refused.
The separation has become entrenched in the United States, with most large Armenian communities having two parish churches, one answering to each See, even though they are theologically indistinguishable. There have been numerous lay and clergy efforts at reunion, especially since the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 1995, Karekin II, Catholicos of Cilicia for the period 1983–1994, was elected Catholicos of All Armenians in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin upon the death of Vazgen I
, becoming Karekin I
Catholicos of All Armenians, and serving as Supreme head of the church until 1999. He was unable to unite the two Catholicosates, however, despite his having headed both.
Two Patriarchates: Constantinople and Jerusalem
The Armenian Apostolic Church also has two Patriarchates of high authority both under the jurisdiction of the Catholicos of All Armenians
. They are:
- Aragatsotn eparchy
- Ararat Patriarchal eparchy
- Artik eparchy
- Gegharkunik eparchy
- Gougark eparchy
- Kotayk eparchy
- Shirak eparchy
- Syunik eparchy
- Tavush eparchy
- Vayots Dzor eparchy
- Artsakh eparchy (de facto independent Artsakh)
- Russia and New Nakhichevan eparchy (formerly Bessarabia and New Nakhichevan)
- Eparchy of the Russia South (formerly Astrakhan)
- Ukraine eparchy (revived Eparchy of Lviv that in 1630 declared union with Rome until World War II)
- Bulgaria eparchy
- Great Britain and Ireland eparchy
- Germany eparchy
- Greek eparchy (became part of the Holy See of Cilicia, the move is unrecognized)
- Romania eparchy (originally succeeded from Lviv eparchy and later accepted union with Rome, others are used by Romanian Orthodox Church)
- Switzerland eparchy
- Egypt eparchy
- Eparchy in France
- Eparchy in Georgia
- Western Europe exarchate
Churches in Belgium, Netherlands and Italy
- Central Europe exarchate
Churches in Austria, Sweden, Norway and Denmark
- US West eparchy
- US East eparchy
- Canada eparchy
- Australia and New Zealand eparchy
- Argentina eparchy
- Uruguay eparchy
Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Armenian churches in Jordan and Israel (Palestine)
Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople
Armenian churches in Turkey and Crete
Comparison to other churches
speaking, the Church has much in common both with the Latin Rite
in its externals, especially as it was at the time of separation, as well as with the Eastern Orthodox Church
. For example, Armenian bishops wear mitres
almost identical to those of Western bishops. They usually do not use a full iconostasis
, but rather a sanctuary veil (a curtain usually with a cross or divine image in the center, used also by the Syriac Churches
). The liturgical music is Armenian chant
. Many of the Armenian churches also have pipe organs
to accompany their chant.
Armenian priests below the rank of Very Reverend are allowed to be married before ordination and their descendants' surnames are prefixed with the prefix "Der" (or "Ter" in Eastern Armenian), meaning "Lord", to indicate their lineage. Such a married priest is known as a kahana.
The Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates the Nativity of Jesus
in combination with the Feast of the Epiphany
, putting Armenian Christmas on 6 January in the church's calendar. This contrasts with the more common celebration of Christmas
on 25 December, originally a Western Christian tradition, which Armenia only briefly adopted before reverting to its original practice.
Armenian Apostolic Church uses a version of the Bible based on the Greek translation (Septuagint
) of the Hebrew Old Testament, which was produced in Egypt in the court of King Ptolemy II Philadelphus
(283-246 BC), and includes Deuterocanonical books
that are not a part of the present Hebrew and Protestant canons. There is plenty of evidence indicating that the Septuagint
was the Old Testament version used throughout the early Christian Church and was revised in the course of the first and second centuries.[dubious – discuss]
Women in the Armenian Church
The Armenian Church does not ordain women to the priesthood.
Historically, however, monastic women have been ordained as deacons within a convent environment.
Monastic women deacons generally do not minister in traditional parish churches or cathedrals, although the late Mother Hrip'seme did so minister and served during public liturgies, including in the United States.
Women do serve as altar girls and lay readers, especially when a parish is so small that not enough boys or men are regularly available to serve.
Women commonly serve the church in the choir and at the organ, on parish councils, as volunteers for church events, fundraisers, and Sunday schools, as supporters through Women's Guilds, and as staff members in church offices.
In the case of a married priest (Der Hayr), the wife of the priest generally plays an active role in the parish and is addressed by the title Yeretzgin.
In limited circumstances, the Armenian Church allows for divorce and remarriage.
Cases usually include either adultery or apostasy.
Armenian genocide victims canonization
On April 23, 2015, the Armenian Apostolic Church canonized
all the victims of the Armenian Genocide
; this service is believed to be the largest canonization service in history.
1.5 million is the most frequently published number of victims, however, estimates vary from 700,000 to 1,800,000. It was the first canonization by the Armenian Apostolic Church in four hundred years.
Army Chaplaincy Program
The status of the Armenian Apostolic Church within Armenia is defined in the country's constitution
. Article 8.1 of the Constitution of Armenia states: "The Republic of Armenia recognizes the exclusive historical mission of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church as a national church, in the spiritual life, development of the national culture and preservation of the national identity of the people of Armenia." Among others, ethnographer Hranush Kharatyan
has questioned the constitutionality of the phrase "national church".
In 2009, further constitutional amendments were drafted that would make it a crime for non-traditional religious groups to proselytize on adherents of the Apostolic Church. Minority groups would also be banned from spreading 'distrust' in other faiths.
These draft amendments were put on hold after strong criticism voiced by the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Armenian religious minorities and human rights groups also expressed serious concern over the amendments, with human rights activist Stepan Danielian stating "the Armenian Apostolic Church today wants to have a monopoly on religion". The Armenian Church defines religious groups operating outside its domain as "sects" and, in the words of spokesman Bishop Arshak Khachatrian, considers that "their activities in Armenia are nothing but a denial of the creed of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which is considered the national religion of the Armenian people". Hrant Bagratyan
, former Prime Minister of Armenia, condemned the close association of the Armenian Apostolic Church with the Armenian government, calling the Church an "untouchable" organisation that is secretive of its income and expenditure.
After the Bolshevik revolution
and the subsequent annexation of Armenia by the U.S.S.R.
, all functioning religious institutions in NKAO were closed down and clergymen often either exiled or shot.
After a while the Armenian Apostolic Church resumed its activities. There were weddings, baptisms, and every Sunday Badarak
at a free will attendance basis. The Armenian Apostolic Church since 1989 restored or constructed more than 30 churches worldwide. In 2009 the Republic of Artsakh
government introduced a law entitled "Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organisations", article 8 of which provided that only the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church is allowed to preach on the territory of the Republic of Artsakh. However, the law did make processes available for other religious institutions to get approval from the government if they wished to worship within the Republic.
Armenian Apostolic Prelacy, New York
Outside of West Asia
, today there are notable Armenian Apostolic congregations in various countries in Europe, North America, South America, and South Asia.
, home to a large and influential Armenian diaspora community with its own political parties, has more than 17 recognized Armenian Apostolic churches. The Armenian presence in Palestine and Israel is primarily found in the Armenian Quarter
of Jerusalem, under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem
. Syria has one Armenian church, St Sarkis, in Damascus. There are a number of Armenian churches in Jordan
including the St Thaddeus church in the Armenian quarter of Jabal Ashrafieh in Amman
and the St Garabed church at the site of the baptism
of Jesus Christ by the Jordan river
has had an Armenian church since the 1920s, when groups of Armenians were invited there after the Armenian Holocaust
by the Ottoman Empire.
Historical role and public image
The Armenian Apostolic Church is "seen by many as the custodian of Armenian national identity".
"Beyond its role as a religious institution, the Apostolic Church has traditionally been seen as the foundational core in the development of the Armenian national identity as God's uniquely chosen people."
According to a 2018 survey by the Pew Research Center
, in Armenia 82% of respondents say it is very or somewhat important to be a Christian to be truly Armenian.
According to a 2015 survey 79% of people in Armenia trust it, while 12% neither trust it nor distrust it, and 8% distrust the church.
As both Eastern and Western Armenia became under Persian and Ottoman rule, the Armenian Apostolic Church was the centre of many Armenian liberation activities
Controversies and criticisms
Early medieval opponents of the Armenian Church in Armenia included the Paulicians
(7th-9th centuries) and the Tondrakians
The power relationship between catholicoi and secular rulers was sometimes a source of conflict. In 1037 king Hovhannes-Smbat
of Ani deposed and imprisoned Catholicos Petros
, who he suspected of holding pro-Byzantine views, and appointed a replacement catholicos. This persecution was highly criticized by the Armenian clergy, forcing Hovhannes-Smbat to release Petros and reinstall him to his former position. In 1038 a major ecclesiastical council was held in Ani, which denied the king the right to elect or remove a catholicos.
Architecture historian Samvel Karapetyan
(1961-2016) has criticized many aspects of the Armenian Apostolic Church, especially its role in Armenian history. Karapetyan particularly had denounces, what he had calls, Armenian Church's loyal service to foreign invaders: "The Armenian Apostolic Church is a conscientious tax structure, which every conqueror needs."
In independent Armenia, the Armenian Apostolic Church has often been criticized for its perceived support of the governments of Robert Kocharyan
and Serzh Sargsyan
despite the formal separation of church and state
According to former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan
religion and state management "have completely gotten mixed up". He called the church an "untouchable" organization that is secretive of its income and expenditure.
Large-scale construction of new churches in the independence period
and the negligence of endangered historic churches by the Apostolic church (and the government) have also been criticized.
"When Armenia became independent with the collapse of the Soviet Union, a great deal was expected of the church, but those expectations have not been fulfilled. The church continues to ignore the things most people are worried about – vitally important social, economic and political problems and endless corruption scandals."
—Stepan Danielyan, scholar on religion, 2013
In recent years, few high-profile leaders of the church have been involved in controversies.
In 2013 Navasard Ktchoyan, the Archbishop of the Araratian Diocese
and Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan
were alleged to have been partners with a businessman charged with laundering US$10.7 million bank loan and then depositing most of it in accounts he controlled in Cyprus.
In 2011 it was revealed that Ktchoyan drives a Bentley
(valued at $180,000-$280,000). Pointing out the 34% poverty rate in Armenia, Asbarez
editor Ara Khachatourian called it "nothing but blasphemy". He added "Archbishop Kchoyan's reckless disregard and attitude is even more unacceptable due to his position in the Armenian Church."
In October 2013 Father Asoghik Karapetyan, the director of the Museum of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, stated on television that a non-Apostolic Armenian is not a "true Armenian". A spokesperson for the Armenian Apostolic Church stated that it is his personal view.
The statement received considerable criticism,
though Asoghik did not retract his statement.
In an editorial in the liberal Aravot
daily Aram Abrahamyan suggested that religious identity should not be equated with national (ethnic) identity and it is up to every individual to decide whether they are Armenian or not, regardless of religion.
In 2016 Agos
the Armenian newspaper of Istanbul
published a report about child abuse during the 1990s at the Jarankavorats Armenian School in Jerusalem
. According to the report several of the clergymen raped
a young male student. This story first aired in a documentary aired on Israeli television
: Հայաստանեայց Առաքելական Սուրբ Եկեղեցի, romanized
: Hayastaniayts Aṙak̕elakan Surb Yekeghetsi
- ^ Armenian Apostolic Church (Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin) and Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia) in the World Council of Churches
- ^ Panossian, Razmik (2006). The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 43–44. ISBN 9780231139267. The Armenian Apostolic Church formally became autocephalous—i.e. independent of external authority—in 554 by severing its links with the patriarchate of Constantinople.
- ^ "Catholicos of All Armenians". armenianchurch.org. Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
- ^ ""ՀԱՅԱՍՏԱՆՅԱՅՑ ԱՌԱՔԵԼԱԿԱՆ ՍՈՒՐԲ ԵԿԵՂԵՑԻ" ԿԿ - HAYASTANYAYC ARAQELAKAN SURB YEKEGHECI RO". e-register.am. Electronic Register. Government of the Republic of Armenia.
- ^ Augusti, Johann Christian Wilhelm; Rheinwald, Georg Friedrich Heinrich; Siegel, Carl Christian Friedrich. The Antiquities of the Christian Church. p. 466.
- ^ Scott, Michael (2016-11-01). Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-09473-8.
- ^ Grousset, René (1984) . Histoire de l'Arménie (in French). Payot. p. 122.. Estimated dates vary from 284 to 314. Garsoïan (op.cit. p. 82), following the research of Ananian, favours the latter.
- ^ a b c Gilman, Ian; Klimkeit, Hans-Joachim (2013-01-11). Christians in Asia before 1500. ISBN 9781136109782. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- ^ a b Jacob, P. H. (1895). A Brief Historical Sketch of the Holy Apostolic Church of Armenia. H. Liddell. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- ^ a b Issaverdenz, Jacques (1877). The Armenian Church. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- ^ Ehrman: Forgery and Counterforgery, pp455-458
- ^ a b "The Aršakuni Dynasty (A.D. 12-[180?]-428)" by Nina Garsoïan, in Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times, ed. R.G. Hovannisian, Palgrave Macmillan, 1997, Volume 1, p.81.
- ^ Mary Boyce. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices Psychology Press, 2001 ISBN 0415239028 p 84
- ^ Theo Maarten van Lint (2009). "The Formation of Armenian Identity in the First Millenium". Church History and Religious Culture. 89 (1/3): 269.
- ^ See Drasxanakertci, History of Armenia, 78ff; Atiya, History of Eastern Christianity, 316ff; Narbey, A Catechism of Christian Instruction According to the Doctrine of the Armenian Church, 88ff.
- ^ Dočkal 1940, p. 186. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFDočkal1940 (help)
- ^ Drasxanakertci, History of Armenia, 86–87.
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Armenian religious relations with the Roman Catholic Church
Last edited on 28 April 2021, at 04:00
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