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18 04 2013
Armenian Church in Jerusalem

 


Armenian Church in Jerusalem
Published on April 16, 2013

Though the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem has been elected on January, he has been recognized by the king of Jordan only 3 weeks ago. The Israeli government is newly formed and together with the Palestinian authorities it will recognize the newly elected Armenian Patriarch in the nearest future. Before the reign ceremony takes place, the responsibilities of the Patriarch are trusted to the Vicar General Aris Archbishop Shirvanian who had addressed the Palestinian authorities in December with a strict requirement not to permit the broom-fight between Armenians and Greeks at Bethlehem Christmas Cathedral and prevent the police from Greek provocations.

We met a small group of Armenians in Bethlehem, accompanied by Armenian cenobite Virab Petrosyan who has served at the Christmas Cathedral for 7 years. We talked to him at the Armenian section of the Cathedral. First of all, we talked about the renovations: “This part has been renovated in 2003-04 and since then we carry out renovations in different parts of the church. It is impossible to renovate everything at once that’s why we do different parts each year”.

It is interesting to know the number of Armenian pilgrims visiting Bethlehem every year. Not everyone makes a trip to Bethlehem after a visit to Jerusalem, e.g. the Armenians with Israeli citizenship. The Armenian Patriarchate celebrates Christmas on January 18, according to the old calendar and during this holiday an opportunity is given to visit Bethlehem under the control of the Church. In case of personal visits the Jewish police and border guides create obstacles to people with Jewish passports, but this is done, of course, for security if the citizen is not living in Jerusalem.

“We're having from 12 to 15 groups per year organized by the Church on such holidays as Easter, Christmas and other religious events. Armenians coming from USA, Canada, Australia, Turkey and other counties of the world. There are also tourists arriving with Russian groups to spend a holiday”, -mentioned Virab Petrosyan.

We talked also about the broom-fights. The situation was quiet this December; the Greeks did not try to broom at the Armenian section. “Most of the time they try to clean the areas that belong to us and this is the reason for fights. Last year we had no problems as it was agreed not to cause problems to each other and obey the government decision concerning the cleaning process”, - added the cenobite.

http://www.azatutyun.am/media/video/24958150.html


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