Armenian Apostolic Church

national church of the Armenian people

The Armenian Apostolic Church (Armenian: Հայ Առաքելական Եկեղեցի), also called the Armenian Orthodox Church or the Gregorian Church, is the world's oldest national church[1][2] and one of the most ancient Christian communities.[3]



The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its official religion under the rule of King Tiridates in the early 4th century.[4][5] The church claims to have originated in the missions of Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the 1st century, by tradition. The Church teaches that it was first preached by two Apostles of Jesus, St. Thaddeus and St. Bartholomew. The Armenian Apostolic Church claims to been in existence since the days of the apostles and therefore would be one of the oldest denominations of Christianity. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion, when St. Gregory the Illuminator converted Tiridates III (the King of Armenia) and members of his court,[6] traditionally dated to 301 (after Mikayel Chamchian 1784). The Church teaches that St. Gregory was imprisoned by Tiridates in an underground pit, called Khor Virab, for 13 years, after which he healed the King of an incurable disease, whereupon Tiridates accepted Christianity.


  1. The Journal of Ecclesiastical History - Page 268 by Cambridge University Press, Gale Group, C.W. Dugmore
  2. The Armenian Massacres, 1894-1896: 1894-1896 : U.S. media testimony - Page 131 by A. Dzh. (Arman Dzhonovich) Kirakosian
  3. The Antiquities of the Christian Church - Page 466 by Johann Christian Wilhelm Augusti, Georg Friedrich Heinrich Rheinwald, Carl Christian Friedrich Siegel
  4. Scott, Michael (2016-11-01). Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity. Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-09473-8.
  5. Grousset, René (1947). Histoire de l'Arménie (1984 ed.). Payot. p. 122.. Estimated dates vary from 284 to 314. Garsoïan (op.cit. p.82), following the research of Ananian, favours the latter.
  6. Academic American Encyclopedia - Page 172 by Grolier Incorporated

Other websites