First Christian Country

First Christian Country

The first Armenian Church founders were Apostles Jude and Bartholomew (35-43) whom Armenians call the first Armenian Enlighteners. The Armenian church has an Apostolic origin.

According to the Historian Agatangeghos, when Tiridates(Trdat) 3rd came back to Armenia to get his father’s throne, he sacrificed for the pagan Goddess Anahit on his way. One of his soldiers refused to sacrifice because he was Christian and couldn’t kill innocent people.

Tiridates 3rd knowing about his religion, ordered to take him the underground jail which was a deep hole with a lot of snakes and insects. Besides that Tiridates, King ordered to arrest Christians and take them to jail, those that would hide Christians would be killed. 

Trdat 3th

At that time, the three Roman virgins who worship God came to Armenia and settled in Vagharshapat city. They escaped from the persecution of Diocletian Emperor. Trdat 3rd fell in love Hripsime and asked her to marry him. But she refused his request which made Trdat angry and he ordered to torture them and kill all the virgins.

The death of the virgins, especially Hripsime’s death caused him a serious mental shock. During his serious disease, The King’s sister saw a dream in which Gregory Enlightener could heal him. They freed him and gave him a great welcome in Vagharshapat city.

Gregory Enlightener buries the Virgins, and then 66 days preaches Christianity and finally heals the kings. Tiridates 3rd was baptized by Gregory Enlightener and accepted Christianity as s state religion. After the adoption of the Christianity, Gregory Enlightener orders to built Christian churches and monasteries everywhere, all the pagan temples were destroyed besides Garni’s pagan temple which is still standing.

saint Gregory

On the tombs of the Roman virgins were built three churches in Vagharshapat city(now Echmiadzin) Saint Hripsime Saint Gayane, Saint Shoghakat.