Diocese of Shirak

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Diocese of Shirak

Շիրակի թեմ
Gyumri-DCP 5482.JPG
Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God
TerritoryShirak Province
- Total
(as of 2016 est.)
DenominationArmenian Apostolic Church
RiteArmenian Rite
Established31 August 1920
CathedralHoly Mother of God, Gyumri
Secular priests21
Current leadership
PatriarchKarekin II
PrimateBishop Mikael Ajapahyan
Official web

Diocese of Shirak (Armenian: Շիրակի թեմ Shiraki t'em), is one of the dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church covering the northern and middle parts of the Shirak Province of Armenia. It almost covers 2/3rds of the province, as the southern towns of Artik, Maralik, and their surrounding villages are excluded.

The diocese was officially founded on August 31, 1920, upon a kontakion issued by Catholicos George V. The seat of the diocese is the Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God in Gyumri. The prelacy building is located on Rizhkov street near the cathedral, at the centre of Gyumri.


In the final days of the First Republic of Armenia, the diocese was established upon a kontakion issued by Catholicos George V on August 31,[1] after being separated from the Araratian Pontifical Diocese.[2]

The prelacy building

The prelacy building of the Diocese of Shirak is located on Varpetats Street of Gyumri, near the Vartanants Square. It was designed by Hovhannes Katchaznouni and built at the beginning of the 20th century.

On December 2, 2012, the southern town of Artik and the surrounding 23 villages were separated from the Diocese of Shirak to form the newly established Diocese of Artik.[3]

Currently, the diocese has 8 active churches under its jurisdiction in the city of Gyumri, along with many other churches in the Shirak Province.[4]