Jul 17, 2016, 1:57 PM
News Code: 82152409
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Iran is a peaceable country: Archbishop

Orumiyeh, July 17, IRNA – Archbishop of Armenian in Chaldoran, northwestern province of West Azerbaijan Gregor Chiftchian said here on Sunday that contrary to the global arrogant powers propaganda, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a peace-seeking country.

Addressing a religious ritual in Qara Kelisa Church in Chaldoran, archbishop Chiftchian underscored that the issue of discrimination between ethnic and religious groups has never existed in Iran thanks to the country's balanced policy.

He reiterated that Muslims and non-Muslims are living freely close together as a result of observing social justice in Iran.

Touching upon the religious ceremonies which are being held in Qara Kelisa annually, attended by scores of Armenians, he said the Armenians can freely perform their religious rituals in Iran.

He added the Islamic Republic of Iran's measures for paving the way for followers of different religions to freely perform their religious rituals, have astonished the world.

Each year, Qara Kelisa honors the memory of St. Thaddeus and his faithful followers during a ceremony in the northern province of West Azarbaijan.

Scores of Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics from Iran and other countries attend the annual event as part of their pilgrimage on the Day of St. Thaddeus.

The ceremony is known as one of the largest religious ceremonies held by Armenians.

Qara Kelisa, also known as the St. Thaddeus Church, is one of the oldest and most notable surviving Christian monuments of Iran that carries great significance for the country's Armenian Orthodox community.

Armenians hold that Qara Kelisa is the world's first church and was constructed in 68 CE by one of the apostles of Jesus, St. Thaddeus, who traveled to Armenia, then part of the Persian Empire, to preach the teachings of Christ.