Churches are the main symbol of Christianity. In Iran too, given the wide range of Christians in its various cities, there are world-renowned churches in most Iranian cities. Though the majority of Iranians are Shiite and one of the largest branches of Islam and the official religion of Iran. However, as we have said, there are other religions such as Zoroastrians, Judaism, and Christianity in Iran. The majority of religious minorities are Christians. The history of Christianity in Iran goes back to the early years of the emergence of this religion.
Therefore, the presence of Christians in Iranian history has always been constant. There are currently at least 600 churches and over 300,000 Christians in Iran. In this article, join us to discover some of Iran’s most famous and famous churches. Churches that, in addition to their spiritual value, are among the tourist attractions of various Iranian cities.
Given the overwhelming presence of Christians in Iran throughout history, it is not surprising that many churches have been built throughout our country. These churches are very sacred places for our Christian compatriots and Armenians. Every year, as the Christmas celebrations approach, many Iranian and even foreign tourists are welcomed.
Now we want to introduce you to some of the famous Iranian churches:
St. Mary’s Church
St. Stephen’s Church
Holy Serkis Church
Holy Garapet Church
This church is located 20 kilometers northeast of Chaldaran next to a village of the same name. The Holy Church is the first church in the world and was built on the tomb of the Holy Tad and over 3,500 Christian followers in Chaldaran during the Parthian period. The UNESCO World Heritage List was registered in five UNESCO sites, including three main churches with the names of the Black Church, St. Stepanos and Dezor Dezor.
The name of the church in the Armenian language is Thaddeus the Holy Church, Thaddeus was a Christian apostle and came to the area to preach the Christian religion. In the year 66 BC, Thaddeus was tortured and executed & killed under torture at the behest of the king of Armenia at that time. Along with the king’s daughter and a number of converts to Christianity. Their lifeless bodies were buried beneath the site where the Church was built today.
Some believe that the meaning of the Ghareh Church is the Black Church, but one should bear in mind the historical fact that the language of the Azerbaijani people was ancient Azeri before the Turkish influence.
Black Church building
An Armenian historian has narrated that the church was built in the early Christian period. It is thought to have been built in the fourth century AD. After the reign of King Parthian king Tirdad, Christianity was recognized in Armenia. There is no information about the architectural details of the church, built by Gregory the Enlightener. During various periods of time, many churches were damaged due to the many battles that took place in the area, which destroyed most parts of the church.
First Christian Church
The Black Church is the first church built by Christ’s preachers in the world. Armenian Christians hold special ceremonies in the church every year on the last week of July and the first week of August, which coincides with the testimony of Tataus. This prevents others from entering the church during the service, so do not choose this time if you intend to visit it.
Black Church Visiting Hours:
9:00 Am to 8:00 pm and wintertime 9:00 AM to 17:00 pm
Black Church Address: Ghar-e Church, 20 km northeast of Chaldaran village, West Azarbaijan
Among the churches built in the Jolfa district of Isfahan, the beautiful Vank Church is the most famous. The architecture of this church is truly impressive. The interior of the church is decorated with beautiful murals, tiles, and paintings. All these monuments attempt to depict a part of the life of Christ. Except for these paintings that imitate the Italian style, the architecture and decorations of Vank church are all Iranian. It also has a dome altar that resembles the architecture of Iranian and Islamic mosques.
But like the Western churches, an octagonal altar has been added. The blue and gold paintings on the roof of this dome tell the stories of the Bible about the creation of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from heaven. It also has a small but special museum. The main sections of the Vank Church museum include old paintings and a rich library that is very suitable for artistic or Armenian language research in medieval Europe. Adding to the importance of the Vank church, the museum also displays some ancient and historical objects and evidence of Armenian history.
One of the most famous objects kept at the museum is the hair of the 18-year-old girl, written on it in Armenian in the year 1974 AD. The Vank Church is one of the first churches built by Armenians in Isfahan after the Ottoman wars in Europe between the years 1603 and 1605, during the reign of Shah Abbas.
The Vank Church, in addition to still holding most Christian religious ceremonies, does not only consist of one place of worship but also of various other sections. These include the museum, library and printing house. The church is about 4,000 meters wide. It also has a large garden and green space outside, which takes into account the area of about 9,000 square meters.
Vank Church Address:
Vank Church Alley, East Nazar Street, Esfahan.
Visiting Vank Church: 08:00 to 17:00.