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Church of Arran

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In 330, a grandson of St. Gregory, St. Grigoris, became the first [[bishop]] and [[Catholicos]] of Arran, which included much of modern day Azerbaijan, South Dagestan and East Armenia. St. Grigoris was [[martyr]]ed in 338 while preaching in Dagestan, but his [[relics]] were rescued by his disciples and kept at the Amaras Monastery in West Azerbaijan. In the following years the position of the Catholicate strengthened, being established at the Arranian capital Qabala.
Arran suffered a similar fate to neighboring Armenia, rising with it against the Sassanian Empire in the 400s and being crushed by its shahs as a result. In the fifth century St. [[Mesrob Mashtots]] most likely systematised an already existing Arranian alphabet was systematised so that the [[Holy Scripture|Bible]], divine services, and writings of the Fathers could be translated. According to some legends St. [[Mesrob Mashtots]] invented the Arranian alphabet, however it is the historical fact that he did not know Arranian, so he could not have developed a new alphabet as it might have appeared in some Armenian sources. In 552 the seat of the Catholicoses of Arran was transferred to Barda, remaining there until the ninth century.
In the seventh century Arran regained its independence under King Javanshir, but then fell to the Arab [[Muslim]]s not long after their conquest of the Sassanian Empire. Beginning in the 700s the Arab rulers began forcibly converting sections of the population to [[Islam]]. Under influence of the Armenian Catholicos, the Caliphate forced the Arranian Catholicos to accept the supremacy of the catholicoses of Echmiadzin. During this period, many of the Arranian Holy books and scriptures were confiscated and destroyed by the Church of Armenia to subdue the Church of Arran.
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