Protestant Armenians

A Norovank Foundation article, dated 16th March, offers an Armenian view of Protestants within Armenia and among the global Diaspora.

The first Protestant community of Armenians is recorded in Istanbul in 1846. By 1914 there were an estimated 60,000. After the post-Soviet political changes the Armenian Evangelical Church was re-registered in 1994 and has continued to expand gradually. Expansion has given them a higher national profile and Armenian Evangelicals have worked hard to establish that their Christian tradition can be understood as culturally Armenian.

Evangelical protestants in Armenia generally see their roots in one of two alternative sources. Some trace their origins to two medieval Armenian sectarian movements, the Pavlikians and the Tondrakians, whereas a second group look back to seventeenth reform movements within the (Orthodox) Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC). The point of connection between the two emphases is that the Reform movements within the AAC also drew inspiration from the sectarian Pavlikians and the Tondrakians.

Armenian evangelicals are widely seen to be making valuable educational and cultural contributions to Armenian society (including their invaluable role in translating the Bible into contemporary Armenian) as well as playing an important role in the preservation of national identity. Their missionary activity among Armenian Muslims during the Ottoman period in Turkey was welcomed by the AAC during that period.

Despite this positive reporting of the Armenian Evangelical Church, Baptists and others keep a close watch on the Religious Laws of Armenia through which there exists the tendency for nudging it little by little towards a closer relationship of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian State.

The original article can be viewed at http://www.noravank.am/en/?page=analitics&nid=2392

Explore posts in the same categories: Armenia, education, Evangelical

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