Diocese of Artsakh

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Diocese of Artsakh
Արցախի թեմ
Country Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
- Total
(as of 2010[3])
Churches 17 (functioning)[1]
~5,000 (all)[2]
Denomination Armenian Apostolic Church
Rite Armenian Rite
Established 1989
Cathedral Ghazanchetsots, Shushi[4]
Gandzasar (historic)[1]
Secular priests 10[1]
Current leadership
Patriarch Karekin II
Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan

Diocese of Artsakh (Armenian: Արցախի թեմ Artsakhi t'em) is one of the largest dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church covering the de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It is named after the historic province of Artsakh; the 10th province of the Kingdom of Armenia. The diocesan headquarters are located in the town of Shushi. The seat of the bishop is the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral.

The diocese was established in 1989. Since its creation, archbishop Pargev Martirosyan (Պարգև արքեպիսկոպոս Մարտիրոսյան) has served as its primate.[5][6][1]

All churches in Karabakh were closed in the 1930s by the Soviet government. The totalitarian regime was relatively relaxed by Mikhail Gorbachev. A mass movement for the unification of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia started in February 1988.[7] With Armenian national identity in rise in the Soviet Union, the Diocese of Artsakh was established in 1989.[2] The 13th century Gandzasar monastery was the first one to be reopened. It remains the historic center of the Diocese of Artsakh, while the Ghazanchetsots Cathedral is the administrative center of the diocese.[1]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Religion". Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b (Armenian) Margaryan, Susanna (2 September 2006). "Արցախի թեմը վերաբացումից 17 տարի անց [The Diocese of Artsakh 17 years after re-opening]". Azg. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Administrative Territorial System of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic". The Office of the NKR President. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Armenian Church Today Dioceses in Armenia". Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. Retrieved 25 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Armenian International Magazine, Volume 10, Glendale, California, 1999
  6. ^ O'Mahony, Anthony (2004). Eastern Christianity: Studies in Modern History, Religion and Politics. London: Melisende. p. 148. ISBN 9781901764239. 
  7. ^ "Diocese of Artsakh of the Armenian Apostolic Church". Gandzasar.com. Retrieved 25 May 2013.