Jul 21, 2019, 4:05 PM
Journalist ID: 1006
News Code: 83405208
3 Persons
Qara Kelisa Complex ready to hold Badarak religious ceremony

Tehran, July 24, IRNA - 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.

*** Qara Kelisa Complex ready to hold Badarak religious ceremony

Hassan Mohammadzadeh the Governor of Chaldoran county said that the arrangements for holding the 65th  annual religious ceremony of Armenians known as Badarak are done.

Armenians from Iran and other nations, including Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Germany and Canada will take part in the three-day event.The ceremony will be held to mark the martyrdom anniversary of Saint Thaddeus — one of the apostles of Jesus Christ (Peace Be Upon Him).

During the ceremony, the worshippers perform religious practices, including sacrificing sheep, lighting candles, baptism of infants, etc.

The ceremony has changed to the symbol of religious minorities' freedom in Iran. The St. Thaddeus Monastery is very Sacred for Christians, especially Armenians. Many Iranian Christians baptize their children in the ancient church. Chaldoran County, northwestern Iran, in which the church is located, is completely ready to host the international event. 


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