Iran's Armenian community gathers for key religious event

Iran's Armenian community gathers for key religious event

PanARMENIAN.Net - The 64th annual religious ceremony of Armenians in St. Thaddeus Monastery in Chaldoran, northwest of Iran started on July 14 and continued for three days, Front Pafe Iran reports.

In the course of the ceremony, Bishop Krikor Chiftjian, the Prelate of the Diocese of Iran’s East and West Azarbaijan provinces, referred to Iran as a great model for peaceful coexistence among monotheistic religions in the world.

Chiftjian said next week during his speeches in the US, he will serve as Iran’s cultural ambassador to inform the whole world of the deep respect paid by the Islamic Republic to religious minorities in the country.

“Iranian government officials are attempting to provide religious minorities with prosperity,” he was quoted as saying in a report by IRNA.

There is mutual respect between these religions in Iran, he noted, adding that Iranian Armenians attach significant respect to religious sites.

Each year, Qara Kelisa honours the memory of St. Thaddeus and his faithful followers.

Scores of Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics from Iran and other countries attend the annual event as part of their pilgrimage on the Day.

The ceremony is known as one of the largest religious ceremonies held by Armenians.

The St. Thaddeus Monastery is one of the oldest and most notable surviving Christian monuments of Iran that has a great significance for the country’s Armenian community.

Armenians believe the monastery is the world’s first church constructed in 68 CE by one of the apostles of Jesus, St. Thaddeus. According to Armenians, he had traveled to Armenia to preach the teachings of Jesus Christ.

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