Armenia was the first country to officially declare Christianity as the state religion. This took place in 301 AD. Approximately 94% of the country practice Christianity. Armenia is a wonderful site to visit for those seeking biblical travel.
The Great Flood
Many have heard the story from Genesis from a young age. For forty days and forty nights it rained. Noah built an ark and took two of every animal onto it. At the end of the flood, his ark came to a rest on top of Mount Ararat. Featured on the Armenian coat of arms, this snow-capped dormant volcano is a must-see.
Bartholomew and Thaddeus
Following Christ’s death, Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus traveled to introduce the Christian faith. While traveling, they crossed ancient Armenia and evangelized to the masses.
St. Gregory the Illuminator and Khor Virap
For thirteen years, Grigor Lusavorich was locked away in a cell at the bottom of a pit in the Armenian hillock. Local Christian women would sneak food to Lusavorich to keep him alive. Following his release, he was sainted as St. Gregory the Illuminator for curing King Trdat III of a disease, rumored to be madness, and converted the king to the Christian faith. The Khor Virap monastery houses the deep dungeon and is a common spot for locals to visit for baptisms and religious sacrifices of sheep and chickens.
Named in remembrance of the spear used to pierce the side of Jesus during his crucifixion, the Geghard monastery is a masterpiece of 13th-century architecture. Carved from stone under the direction of St. Gregory, Geghard is believed to once house the Holy Lance that was given in good faith to Thaddeus by St. Peter to spread the gospel across the lands.
Located in the center of the Armenian Apostolic Church, within a walled compound with various structures and gardens, is Echmiatsin. Translating to “the Only Begotten Descended”, the cathedral was built in 480 under St. Gregory the Illuminator’s direction. He dreamt Jesus descended from heaven to show him where to build the church. Housed in the Echmiatsin are the Holy Lance (Geghard), the Right Hand of St. Gregory the Illuminator, and the relic of Noah’s Ark.
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