Religion: the particularities of the Armenian Church – Protestant Perspectives

The Armenian Church has certain peculiarities. Indeed, it is divided into two main Churches: the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church. Regarding the first,the two catholicosates ruling the Armenians are in Echmiadzin in Armenia – chaired by Karekin IIsupreme catholicos of all Armenians – and in Antelias in Lebanon since 1930 – where Aram I is the catholicos” of Cilicia, wrote the International Catholic News Agency (APIC). As for the Armenian Catholic Church, the agency continued, it is “located in Beirut, Lebanon”: it is today directed by the patriarch Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian. The cross states that the Armenian Catholic Church, which was founded in 1742, has approximately 600,000 faithful.

Tigrane Yégavian, journalist and researcher, explained in October 2020 to site Catholic Church in France: Armenia has been a land of Christianity since the 4th century. Jean-Pierre Mahé, historian, defined Armenia as a ‘Church-Nation’. The Armenian Apostolic Church, which has a 90% majority, has been an autocephalous church since the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Although it is separated from Rome, it maintains excellent relations with the Holy See.”

The Church, “a sanctuary of national identity”

In this interview published after the resumption of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which broke out in September 2020, he insisted that “the Armenian Church plays a very important role” because she “is one with his people”. “Many priests and military chaplains are mobilized at the front, with the Armenian fighters, he asserted. So many Armenians “do not necessarily have faith in Christ”, they stay “very attached to their Church, which constitutes a sanctuary of their national identity”, added the author of Eastern Minorities: The Forgotten of History (The Rock, 2019) and Geopolitics of Armenia (Bibliomonde, 2019).

While deadly clashes (nearly 300 dead) on the border between the two countries erupted again on September 13, the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church reacted the next day, indicates The cross. “The 2020 war and the attacks on Armenia’s borders, which have not been properly assessed by the international community, have encouraged Azerbaijan to try to obtain the concessions it wants through unremitting military activities.”, castigated the catholicos Karekine II.

“Unspeakable atrocities”

The latter also appealed to the international community to “(the) urge to take effective measures to put an end to the many acts of aggression and ambitions of Azerbaijan towards the Armenian world”. In 2020, writes The crossthe Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church had warned, in the columns of the Italian daily La Repubblica, on the risk of a new genocide of the Armenians (in reference to that of 1915). As recently as September 22, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, before the UN, accused Azerbaijan of committing “unspeakable atrocities.”

Religion: the particularities of the Armenian Church – Protestant Perspectives