May 14, 2019, 12:21 PM
News Code: 83314010
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Documentary on world's first church to screen in France

Urmia, May 14, IRNA – French filmmakers are doing a documentary about 'Qara Kelisa', also known as the St. Thaddeus Church (a historical attraction), as the world's first church, which will be broadcast on the RT France News Channel, an Iranian tourism official said on Tuesday.

'The documentary will be prepared by the French filmmaking institution 'Bon Piosh,' the Director General of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism of West Azarbaijan province Jalil Jabbari told IRNA.

He added that the institution has produced a documentary about the historical and cultural monuments of Iran, including some in West Azarbaijan.

Qara Kelisa, also known as the St. Thaddeus Church, in Chaldoran County, northwestern Iran 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 BC by one of the apostles of Jesus, Saint Thaddeus, who traveled to Armenia, then part of the Persian Empire, to preach the teachings of Christ.

The church is composed of two parts: a black structure, the original building of the church from which it takes its name and a white structure, the main church, which was added to the original building's western wing in 1810 CE.

An ancient chapel two kilometers northwest of the church is said to have been the place where the first Christian woman, Sandokh, was martyred. The chapel is believed to be as old as Qara Kelisa.

The structure was inscribed along with two other monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian faith namely St. Stepanos and the Chapel of Dzordzor.

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