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The Armenian Church
Armenia was the first nation to become Christian. Up to then the Armenians had worshipped the Persian gods. some historians ascribe the first Christian preaching to SS. Thaddeus and Bartholomew, both who had suffered martyrdom. But the main missionary work was carried out by St. Gregory (240 - 332). At the end of the 3d century, the king of Armenia, Tiridates III, was converted to Christianity by Saint Gregory the Illuminator.
Some references state that Gregory was an Armenian notable who ran away
from Persian oppression and sought asylum in the Roman town of Caesarea
in Cappadocia. Others say that he was the son of Parthian who had assassinated
King Khosrov I of Armenia and for safety was taken to
Following the ecclesiastical controversy concerning the twofold nature of Christ, the Armenian Christians refused to accept the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon (Kadıköy-in Istanbul) and formed a separate church, sometimes referred to as the Gregorian church. In 1439 a union with the Roman Catholic church was accepted by some members of the Armenian church. This was later repudiated, but a group of Armenian Catholics accept papal supremacy and the authority of the Catholic Armenian patriarchate of Sis or Cilicia (in Beirut, Lebanon), which was set up in 1742. They use an Armenian rite.
The remaining larger portion of the Armenian church is headed by its catholicos, who resides at Echmiadzin, a monastery near Yerevan in Armenia. He is nominally in authority over the Armenian patriarchs of Jerusalem and Constantinople (that is, residing in İstanbul, Turkey). The monastery has been the ecclesiastical metropolis of the Armenian nation since the 4th century; it is said to be the oldest monastic foundation in the Christian world.
There are no statues in their churches and unleavened bread
and wine are not mixed with water for Holy Communion. During Mass an
instrument similar to Egyptian sistrum is jingled.