===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 [[
Church of Albania|Albania]].
===The Council of Chalcedon===
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)]].
*''[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
The Western Diocece of the Armenian Church of North America]* [http://www.armenianchurch.net The Armenian Apostolic Church in 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]]