Church of Armenia

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The '''Church of Armenia''', sometimes called the '''Armenian Apostolic Church''' or the '''Armenian Orthodox Church''' is one of the [[Oriental Orthodox]] churches.  It [[schism|separated]] from the [[Orthodox Church|Eastern Orthodox Church]] in AD 506, after the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]] (AD 451).
 
  
[[liturgy|Liturgically]], the Church has much in common with the [[Roman Catholic Church]]. For example, their bishops wear vestments almost identical to those of Western bishops. The Armenian Apostolic Church should not, however, be confused with the [[Armenian Catholic Church]], which is  in [[Uniate|union]] with the Roman Catholic Church.  They also typically do not use a full [[iconostasis]], but rather a curtain.
 
{{orientalchurches}}
 
 
==History==
 
===Christianity in Armenia===
 
Tradition tells us that the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew first brought Christianity to the land of the Armenians in the first century.  However, it would not be for about 200 more years that  Armenia would become the first country to adopt [[Christianity]] as a state religion, in AD 301, when St. [[Gregory the Illuminator]], a missionary from Caesarea,  converted the king of Armenia, Trdat IV, to Christianity.  In time, St. Gregory was sent back to Caesarea to be elevated to the [[bishops|episcopate]] and returned to Armenia as the first '''Catholicos''' (or "universal" bishop of an area).  Gregory’s son, Aristakes, attended the First [[Ecumenical Council]] at [[First Ecumenical Council|Nicea]] in AD 325.
 
 
In addition to the obvious spiritual benefits which resulted from the "baptism" of Armenia, this conversion aided in unifying various ethnic groups into a cohesive Armenian identity.  The Armenian Church was instrumental in the early missions to neighboring [[Church of Georgia|Georgia]] and [[Caucasian Albania]].
 
 
===The Council of Chalcedon===
 
Together with the other churches that have come to be called [[Oriental Orthodox]] churches, the Church of Armenia [[schism|split]] with Orthodoxy in the 5th Century, rejecting the [[dogma]]s of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]] regarding [[Christ]]'s two natures.  They are sometimes called [[Monophysitism|Monophysites]], however this is a term that they reject, preferring to be called "Non-Chalcedonian," since they ''do'' claim that Christ did indeed have two natures.
 
 
===The Armenian Genocide===
 
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==Leadership==
 
The hierarch of the Armenian Church is the '''Catholicos of Armenia'''.  The current Catholicos is Garegin II, who resides in the city of Echmiadzin, west of Yerevan.  However, a minority of the church has recognized instead the Catholicos of Cilicia, who resides in Antilyas in Lebanon, as a result of a dispute that emerged while Armenia was under Communist rule.
 
 
==Armenian Christianity Outside of Armenia==
 
Today there are large Armenian Orthodox congreations in many middle-eastern countries outside Armenia. Of particular importance is the Armenian Apostolic Church of Iran, where Armenians are the largest Christian ethnic minority.  The Armenian Church also is one of the churches (together with the [[Orthodox Church]], the [[Roman Catholic Church]], the [[Church of Alexandria (Coptic)|Copts]], [[Church of Ethiopia|Ethiopians]] and [[Church of Antioch (Jacobite)|Syrians]]) which cooperates in the use and administration of the [[Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem)]].
 
 
In America, the Armenian Church maintains St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City, and St. Nersess Seminary in New Rochelle, NY.  The latter cooperates very closely with [[St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York)]].
 
 
==Resources==
 
*''[http://www.stvartanbookstore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=5169&HS=1 Frequently Asked Questions About the Armenian Church]'' by Fr. Krikor Maksoudian
 
* ''[http://www.stvartanbookstore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=5166&HS=1 Feasts and Saints of the Armenian Chuch]'' by Patriarch Torkom Koushagian
 
 
==Sources==
 
* Portions of this article have been taken, with modifications, from [[Wikipedia:Armenian Apostolic Church]]
 
* [http://www.armenianchurch.org The Armenian Apostolic Church in America]
 
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.armenianchurch.org/ The Armenian Church - The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin]
 
* [http://www.armenianchurchwd.com/ Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America]
 
* [http://www.armenianchurch.net/ Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America]
 
* [http://www.stnersess.edu/ St. Nersess Armenian Seminary]
 
* [http://www.stvartanbookstore.com/ St. Vartan Bookstore]
 
* [http://www.cnewa.org/ecc-bodypg.aspx?eccpageID=5&IndexView=toc Eastern Christian Churches: Armenian Apostolic Church] by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar
 
* [http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Armenian_Apostolic_Church Armeniapedia - Armenian Apostolic Church]
 
* [[Wikipedia:Armenian Apostolic Church]]
 
 
 
[[Category:Jurisdictions|Armenia]]
 
[[Category:Oriental Orthodox|Armenia]]
 

Revision as of 02:12, June 20, 2006

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