Armenian Monastery on World Heritage List

The north west part of the Islamic Republic of Iran seems an unlikely setting for classical Christian Churches. But there are the Iranian churches of St. Thaddeus, St. Stephanus, and Dzordzor. The churches, in the provinces of East and West Azerbaijan were added this year, to UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The Armenian Monastic Ensemble consists of three monasteries of the Armenian Christian faith: St Thaddeus and St Stephanus and the Chapel of Dzordzor. The oldest structure - Saint Thaddeus monastery - dates back to the seventh century. It's in Chaldoran, in West Azerbaijan. Saint Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, was one of the twelve apostles.

Barsam Abrahamian, monastery caretaker, said, "An apostle of Jesus Christ came to this region to preach Christianity. After he died, he was buried somewhere in this monastery. The precise location of his grave is unknown. Christians come every year to commemorate Thaddeus' death. About four thousand people, who are Christians from Iran and Armenia , come here and camp near the church. They pray, light candles and slaughter sheep." The Cultural Heritage Organization in Iran held a press conference about the addition of Saint Thaddeus to the World Heritage List in July 2008.



Popular Posts