Armenia proclaimed Christianity as its state religion as far back as the 4th century AD – in 301 AD. The Armenian Apostolic Church is one of the oldest Christian churches, differing both from Byzantine Orthodoxy, and from Roman Catholicism. Christmas is celebrated here on January 6, the BBC tells in his article about Armenia. “The founders of their church in Armenia consider the holy apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew (who were preached here and were martyred here). Today about 95% of Armenians are Christians, and the religious history of the country lives in its ancient monuments. According to the legend, the first patriarch (Catholicos) of the Armenian Apostolic Church was St. Gregory the Illuminator, who converted the Armenian King Trdat III to Christianity, after which Christianity became the state religion, “the article says”. The publication tells about the pagan temple of Garni, which has survived to our days, as well as Christian monuments – the Echmiadzin Cathedral, the seat of the throne of the Supreme Patriarch Catholicos of All Armenians, the Church of Saint Gayane, the monastery of Khor Virap, the monastery complex Geghard, the Church of Surb Zorac (Holy Host).
“Khachkars (stone steles with a carved image of the cross) were considered a symbol of the salvation of the soul – both living and dead. On the territory of Armenia, there are several thousand khachkars, each with its own unique pattern, “the article says”.