Armenian Church (Surp Karapet Church)

Armenian Church (Surp Karapet Church)

The Armenian Church of Surp Karapet was established in 1336 SH in Abadan, under the reign of Pahlavi. This Gregory church was once close to two protestant churches, Christopher Church in 1928 and Assyrian church in 1951, none of which is today remained. They constituted together triple churches of Abadan.

Approximately 2000 Christian families lived in Abadan in 1356 SH who came to the church in order to hold their religious ceremonies. About half of this building was ruined during the years of Iran-Iraq imposed war. Although most of Armenians and Christians had left the city because of the war, the building was later reconstructed and reopened in the presence of Archbishop of the Armenians of the south of Iran and Isfahan, Korioun Papian. Surp Karapet Church was inscribed on the list of Iran National Heritages in 1382 SH.

The church has white walls and four brown wooden doors with two relief cross on each one. The church has two domes made of Aluminum; the larger dome is placed on the central structure of the church and the smaller dome is on the posterior part of the church, in front of Miansara.

Close to the southern gate of the church there is epigraphy along with the painting of an Armenian mother and her killed child that is the reminiscence of Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Empire during the World War I. A sentence on the painting says: “everywhere we are … we will not forget you”.

The rectangular hall of the church is decorated in columns, chandeliers, navy blue and red curtains, wooden benches, picture frames and wall carpets with Christian motifs.

The hall has fourteen semicircular windows held by external cross fences. The hall also includes the part of candle-lit, Meron cup, the holy oil of Armenia’s Etchmiadzin Cathedral and a notebook. The alter is semicircular with four columns built about seven stairs upper than the ground level.  A large tableau of Jesus Christ is placed between two columns of the alter around which there are two golden candlesticks. There are two wooden doors on two sides of the alter for the priest and the choir group.  

The treasurer of Surp Karapet Church is Sufi Karvazian, of the old and famous families of Manukian. Today the church, that is also called SurQarapet, is one of the main historic and urban symbols of the city and also one of the urban attractions of Abadan.

You can find the Armenian Church of Surp Karapet in Zand street, next to Behbahaniha Mosque, in the corner of the previous National School of Adab and the current Damavand school of art.

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