Primate, Church Leaders Visit Armenia

Article excerpt

Looking for support and greater dialogue with Canadian churches, the Canadian diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church invited a group of church leaders, including the Anglican primate, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, to visit Armenia in late August.

Throughout 70 years of Soviet rule, the Armenian Orthodox Church was repressed and it is now "trying to rebuild," said Archbishop Hutchison in an interview, noting that the trip was completely sponsored by the Armenian church.

"The church survived and a core of the faithful survived. It is a Christian country surrounded by Muslim countries. The borders to Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed and the border with Georgia is not as free-flowing as it might be," said Archbishop Hutchison.

In Canada, he pointed out, the Anglican church has aided Armenian churches by providing space for new Armenian congregations and Archbishop George Carey visited Armenia when he was Archbishop of Canterbury.

The delegation also included Archbishop Brendan O'Brien, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops; Archbishop Sotirios, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Canada; and Richard Schneider, president of the Canadian Council of Churches.

The hosts were Bishop Bagrat Galstanian, primate of the Armenian church in Canada, and his assistant, Deacon Hagop Arslanian. …