Commemoration of Gregory, Apostle to Armenia, 280

Armenia is the first nation to become Christian, long before Constantine and the Roman Empire. Situated between the Roman Empire to the west and the Parthian (Persian) Empire to the east, Armenia has been a battleground for political and religious dominance throughout history. Gregory suffered torture and imprisonment when he returned in mission to the country of his birth. After a decade of severe treatment, he was consecrated the first bishop of Armenia.

The Armenian Church claims to have letters from Jesus to the Armenian king between 9 and 46 AD. Four of the apostles are said to be buried in Armenia as well. The Armenian Church is an outlier between the western Roman Catholic-Protestant churches and the Eastern Orthodox churches. It is neither a western nor an eastern church. This unique position is due to the fact that during the Council of Nicaea in 325, Armenia was in the middle of a civil war and was unable to send bishops to Nicaea to write the creed that would define most of Christianity for two millennia. 

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