Today’s ‘Catholic News’ podcast sees us head east to Jerusalem and the Holy Land but not to talk about Israelis, Palestinians or the turmoil of conflict and disagreement. We’re joined by our expert on the Middle East North Africa region, Dr Harry Hagopian, to discuss a Christian community that punches above its weight in the lands of Christ – the Armenian Orthodox Church.
Harry, as he never tires of reminding us, is an Armenian. More than that he is an Armenian Christian who hails from Jerusalem. As such he’s perfectly placed to talk about the Armenian Church in the Holy Land as it is the subject of a book he has released of the same name.
In this audio review of the book we get the historical context – Armenia adopting Christianity in 301 AD. We learn of its Apostolic lineage and Patriarchs like the wonderfully named 18th Century Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Gregory the Chain-Bearer. But most importantly, we learn of the Armenian Church’s vital on-going contribution to life in the Holy Land.
As Bishop Declan Lang says in the book’s foreword: “Dr Hagopian provides us with an informative and analytical work which can help to deepen our awareness of this ancient Christian community which is thankful for its past, passionate for its present, and hopeful for its future.”