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While the overwhelming majority of Armenians are members of the Armenian Church (also known as the "Mother Church"), a number of Armenians belong to the Armenian Catholic and Protestant (Evangelical) churches.

The Armenian Catholic Church

eginning in the 12th century, Armenians came into contact with the Roman Church through their ties with the Crusaders in Cilicia.  Later in the 14th century, through the missionary activities of the Franciscan and Dominican orders, a "latinizing movement" gained ground among "liberal elements in the Armenian Church." However, it was only  in the 19th century, during the Ottoman period, that the Armenian Catholics became a millet--an autonomous Church affiliated with Roman Catholicism. In 1831, when a new constitution for Christians living in the Ottoman Empire was instituted, " 'the (Armenian) Catholic Church Community" was created and legally recognized to form the Armenian Rite Catholic segment of the Roman Church, with its own hierarchy and its own Catholicos-Patriarch."  In the early 18th century, two Mekhitarist monastic congregations were established in Venice and Vienna, which have "rendered inestimable service to Armenian letters and scholarship fostering and enriching the religious and cultural heritage of Armenians". 

The Evangelical Armenians

he Armenian Evangelical community was formally recognized in 1846 by the Ottoman government, after "paiful clashes" between church authorities and the "reformers"-- those within the Mother  Church who wished to "reestablished" the church's true evangelical mission. The beginning of Armenian Protestantism is traced back to the 19th century missionary activities of the American Board of Missions, which expanded an aggressive mission throughout Asia Minor. As a result of the continued affiliation of the Armenian Evangelicals with American missionary organizations, many schools and colleges were established during the second half of the 19th century, which benefited thousands Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire.

The Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church
Web site: www.sain.org

 Important Dates in The History of the Armenian Church

60 - Introduction of Christianity into Armenia, by Apostles St. Thaddaeus and St. Bartholomew 
110 - Persecution of the Christians in Armenia, by King Sanadroog 
240 - Persecution of the Christians in Armenia, by King Kosrov II 
250 - Letter from Bishop of Alexandria to the Bishop of Armenia Meroojan 
287 - Persecution of the Christians in Armenia, by King Tiridates III (Trdat III)
301 - Martyrdom of the Forty Virgins. - Conversion of king Tiridates III and proclamation of Christianity as state religion. - Ordination of St. Gregory the Illuminator
302 - Founding of St. Echmiadzin 
315 -  Conversion of the Georgians and Caspian Albanians 
325 - First Ecumenical Council in Nicaea 
354 - The council of Ashdishad 
355 - Armenian Monastic Movement 
381 - Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople 
387 - Division of Armenia between Byzantine and Persia 
406 - Invention of the Armenian Alphabet 
431 - Third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus 
435 - Translation of the Holy Bible 
451 - Battle of Vartanantz. - Council of Chalcedon 
482 - Edict of Emporer Zeno 
508 - Rejection of the Council of Chalcedon by the Armenian Church 
554 - Rejection of the council of Chalcedon and the Three Chapters 
582 - Adoption of new calendar by the Armenian Church 
590 - Establishment of an anti-See in Western Armenia, by the Byzantine Empire
607 - Seperation of the Georgian Church from the Armenian Church. - The Council of Bardav
628 - Communion between Byzantine Emperor Heraclius and Catholicos Yezr
640 - Occupation of Armenia by the Arabs 
703 - Massacre of the nakharars in Nakhichevan 
885 - Establishment of the Bagradite Kindom 
915 - Holy Cross cathedral built on island Ahgthamar 
1045 - Fall of the Bagradite Kingdom 
1064 - Ani, capital of Armenia, sacked and burned by Seljuqs 
1113 - Archbishop David declares himself head of the Armenian Church. - General Council on "Black Mountains" condemns and excommunicates him and his See.
1165 - Ecumenical dialogue between the Orthodox and the Armenian Church 
1200 -  The Establishment of the Brotherhood of St. James 
1292 - The fall of the Armenian Holy See, at Hromgla 
1307 - The Council of Sis 
1316 - The Council of Adana 
1375 - Fall of the Cilician Kingdom 
1400 - St. Gregory of Datev completes his systematized theology of the Armenian Church
1441 - The Catholicossal See is reestablished in St. Echmiadzin 
1461 - Sultan Mouhamed II establishes the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople
1512 - Hagop The Sinner publishes the first Armenian book 
1666 - The Armenian Bible is published in Amsterdam 
1717 - Mkhitar of Sebastia establishes the Mkhitarist Brotherhood in Venice 
1794-96 - The First Armenian newsletter is published in Madras, India 
1805 - The Bible translated into Armenian by the Mkkhitarists 
1863 - The Armenian Costitution is proclaimed in Ottaman Empire 
1894-96 - The Hamidian Massacres claim 300,000 Armenians 
1903 - Tsarist Russia tries to capture the Armenian churches in Armenia 
1909 - The Massacres of Adana claim 30,000 Armenians 
1915 - The Ottomans systematically massacre 1.5 million Armenians 
1918 - The Armenian Republic is is established in Armenian 
1921 - The Soviet Armenian  Republic is established 
1988 - Arstakh movement in Armenia. - A huge earthquake devastates northeastern Armenia
1991 - Armenia re-establishes her independence.
1994 - Catholicos Vazgen I passes away in Yerevan.
1995 - Election and Consecration of H.H. Karekin I, Catholicos of all Armenians

. 1995 - Election and Consecration of H.H. Aram I, Catholicos of Cilicia
1999 - H.H. Karekin I, Catholicos of all Armenians passes away in Yerevan (June 29)
1999 - H.H. Karekin II Nersissian was elected the 132nd Catholicos of All Armenians (October 27)

Hierarchial structure - Continue >
Courtesy of Fr. Daron Stepanian 
St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church
Web site: www.krikorlousavorich.org
Updated 1 February 2000 ..
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