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By Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian

In 2001, Armenians celebrated the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as the official religion of Armenia, beginning in the year 301, when Armenian King Drtad (Tiridates) III and his court were baptized as Christians at the hand of St. Krikor (Gregory) the Illuminator. Christianity influenced the Armenian national, political, familial, societal, and cultural lives, binding it to Western civilization. The Armenian church enabled the Armenian people to express their language through unique characters, establishing it on a firm foundation and paving the way for Armenian literature and scholarship flourish. The Armenian church also became a powerful influence in directing Armenian national and political life, as well as the repository of Armenian cultural traditions, mores, and values and the home of Armenian spiritual heritage.

Published by Armenian Evangelical World Council and Armenia Heritage Committee in 2002