Historical records prove that Christianity took shape in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire as an ideology of subjugated and oppressed people. From the very start this religion attracted people for its equal treatments of various nations and strata of society. The human nature, peacefulness, kindness of the religion, the principles of the self sacrifice and faithfulness were in harmony with the genetic strivings of the Armenian people. It is told that Christianity arose from the kind, creative and human AR (Sun)- Father Main Cod Armenian religion. About deep connection between Christianity and old Armenian knowledge, culture and symbols of the Father Main God period there are many facts. One of them is the structure of famous cross-stones. They mean a men, tending on ball-farmed earth. It is known that when Jesus Christ was born, three Magi visited Him with congratulations and presents. According to Adrian G.Gibert, they were Armenians and they visited Armenian towns. At first in the world Christianity was officially adopted by Armenians in 33 A.D. in Edessia, by king Abgar the 5th. And officially it was adopted in Great Armenia, in capital town Vagharshapat (Echmiadzin) by kind Trdat the 3rd. Vagharshapat was renamed Echmiadzin in 1945. Christianity was introduced in Armenia by the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the first century AD. At this time, paganism was widespread and practiced by the kings of Armenia. Pagan practices did not deter Christian missionaries in spreading the word of God to Armenians. Among them was Gregory, the son of Partev Anak, who was baptized a Christian in Caesaria, a city in Cappadocia. Gregory was thrown into a pit in Xor Virap by the Armenian king Trdat III, where he survived for 13 years only by the grace of a kind woman who secretly fed him. King Trdat fell in love with a Christian nun named Hripsime. When she refused the king's proposal of marriage, the king ordered to catch her and put to death. Thereafter, the king went mad, and only after the king's sister released Gregory from captivity to heal her ailing brother did the king regain his sanity. King Trdat was baptized by Gregory and converted his entire kingdom to Christianity in 301 AD, making Armenia the first nation to accept Christianity as its state religion. The king obliged his people to be baptized in Aratsani river. Gregory came to be known as the Illuminator and was named the first Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Church. After seeing a vision of the descent of the Only Begotten Son, pointing to a site in current-day Echmiadzin, St. Gregory the Illuminator built the mother cathedral of the Armenian church. The old pagan cults of Armenia didn't succumb without resistance on the part of their followers and adapts. But due to the immense faith and love of the preachers to their land and people, soon it was admitted that the new religion was destined to strengthen the nation's spiritual and physical power. This might be the reason of the uniqueness of the Armenian church. Throughout the centuries Armenia has been invaded many a time. There have been inner disagreements but when it came to their faith the nation was unified and steadfast. The Armenian church differs from sister churches by the independence of its theological and linguistic peculiarities ceremonial features. As Armenians began to practice Christianity, many churches and monasteries were erected, some on the foundations of pagan temples. Armenia's innovative architectural traditions can be seen in the church complexes as precursors to the Gothic form. Although it is a distinct church, the Armenian Apostolic Church is in communion with the church universal and in the family of churches such as the Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian, and Indian Malabar churches. Traditionally, the Armenian Church recognizes the Catholicos of All Armenians as its leader. He resides in Holy Echmiadzin, where St. Gregory the Illuminator established the Armenian Church in 301 AD. A National Ecclesiastical Assembly consisting of lay and clergy representatives of Armenian communities around the world elects the Catholicos. There are four hierarchical Sees in the Armenian Church: the Catholicate of All Armenians in Ejmiatzin; the Catholicate of the Great House of Cilicia; the Patriarchate of Jerusalem; and the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Church entered its most recent era of leadership on October 27, 1999, when Armenian Christians chose His Holiness Garegin II as leader of their worldwide church following the death of Catholicos Garegin I. Small Roman Catholic and Protestant communities also exist in Armenia. Catholic missionaries began converting Armenians in the Ottoman and Persian empires in the early modern era, and American Protestant missionaries were active in the nineteenth century. The Kurdish population is mostly Yezidi or Muslim. A Russian Orthodox community also serves its community.
Armenia as the first Christian country
Our father who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done) On earth as it is in heaven)
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever, Amen.