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First Christian Church in Transcaucasia

Arts & Humanities Open Access Journal
Kazimi Parviz Firudin Oqlu

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In the southern regions of Iran (Persia), Zoroastrianism was represented by numerous temples and pantheons of gods, while in the Northern provinces, fire worship retained its early form, recognizing one deity - Ahramazda. With the coming to power of the Sassanids, the number of temples began to increase. The fact that peregrine And his son were priests of the Anahita temple also set priorities during their rule. When the Sassanids came to power, Ardeshir imposed a special tax (one-tenth) on the temples of fire-worshippers. However, environmental analysis shows that during the reign of various rulers, Mazdeism, Mithraism, Manichaeism, and even Christianity gained moderate ascendancy in the Sassanid state, albeit temporarily. For the first 300 years after Christ, there was a serious struggle in Eastern Anatolia to become a strong and lasting religion. The first Christian Church in Parthia played a leading role in this struggle.

Early Christians quickly forgot the important decisions made at the first meeting of the apostles of Jesus, and Christians all over the world are involved in intrigues between the two churches - the Church of Nicaea (Syria) and the Church of Alexandria. After the formation of the Church of Constantinople, competition increased, and although the Christian Church in Eastern Anatolia and Cappadocia was subordinate to Constantinople, the Syriac Church sent representatives to Cappadocia and Eastern Anatolia in search of supporters. The church, founded by Gregory, son of Apak, acts as a true Christian church under the leadership of 10 generations after him and proclaims that Christianity is a divine religion. Only in 437, with the appointment of Hovhannes, a disciple of the Syrian missionary and provocateur Mesrop Mashtos (educated in Syria), the leadership of the church changed the character of the first Christian Church of the Parthians, covering a large area from Eastern Anatolia to Albania. The first Christian Church of the Parthians changed its essence, defining the status of a national church, and not a propagandist of common Christian values.

The lack of information about the history of Parthia, and sometimes very little, enriches this period with legends. The Parthian aristocracy maintained its influence in the Northern regions of Persia. The reign of the Arshakids (of aranshah) continued in Albania until the 6th century. The Parthians understood and practiced fire worship differently than in Persia. The Parthian nobles saw and knew the important role of the temple of Anahita in the victory of the sons of Sassanids. Along with various traditional religions, many new religions spread in the Persian province and in Persian geography, new concepts were synthesized between religions, there was fierce competition between religions, and religious clans sought access to large palaces. 

The early Christians who settled in the Northern provinces of Parthia in the middle of the third century gained a large following. In 252-326, Gregory (his Church name) was the son of Apak (Anak) of the Arshakid dynasty , and he was baptized in Cappadocia and received a Christian upbringing. When another of the Arsacid dynasty, Prince Tridad, together with Gregory, founded the first Christian Church, of course, the Central government did not like it, and the persecution increased. However, by the will of the sons of A, they were able to hold and preserve the Church. The younger son of Gregory, Arastun (Armenians call him Aristakes), led the Church in 325-333, and then his older brother, the first son of Gregory erfan (Arfan) (Armenians call him Vrtanes), took over the leadership of the Church in 333-341 on the advice of his father was brought to the leadership. Arastun took part in the creation of the churches of Albania and Iveria, became their first Bishop, and participated in the first world Council of Christians (Nicaea-Syria).


Gregorian Church, Armenian Church, Hayastan, Diaspora, Artsag