|Tradition attributes the evangelization of the Armenian area
to the Apostles Jude and Bartholomew. Ancient Armenia lay outside the
borders of the Roman Empire and today lies between Turkey and Azerbaijan,
between the Black and Caspian Seas. In the 10th century the area of
Cilicia was also populated by Armenians. Armenia became the first State to
adopt Christianity in 303 AD after King Tiridates III was converted to
Christianity by St. Gregory the Illuminator (who came from Cappadocia).
The Armenian Church was adaughter church of Antioch.
For theological, political and cultural reasons, the Church of Armenia rejected the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and split from the rest of the Catholic body. During the Crusades the Armenian Orthodox Church of Cicilia, known as Armenian Apostolic, established communion with Rome, but when the Crusader Kingdom and the Armenian Kingdom collapsed, communion was again broken. At the Council of Florence in 1439 a decree of reunion was published, but the reunion itself never materialized. Catholic missionary work intensified and in 1740 an Armenian Catholic Patriarchy was elected and later became established in Lebanon. The brutal massacres by the Turks during World War I greatly reduced the number of Armenians and scattered them all over the world. It is only in recent years that the country of Armenia has been re-established.
The Armenian Liturgy combines elements of the Byzantine and Syrian traditions.
In Southern California the Armenian tradition continues to thrive at:
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