Iran, A Second Home for Armenians

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Armenians lead a happy life in Iran, observed the leader of Armenian Prelature of Cyprus and the leader of world Armenians religious dialogue, Archbishop Nareg, Catholicosal Vicar.

Archbishop Nareg, the leader of Cypriot Armenians, added that Iran is a perfect example of peaceful coexistence in the world. He made the remarks in a meeting with the head of the Department of Research and Educational Affairs of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization (ICRO) in Tehran.

The visiting Cypriot delegation of religious leaders exchanged views with Qahraman Soleimani, the ICRO's head for research and educational affairs.

Archbishop Nareg explained the policies of Armenian Church in Cyprus. "Armenian Church of Cyprus believes that not just the clerics, but also non-clerics play key roles in establishing peace, friendship and creating a religious atmosphere. Therefore, the church addresses all walks of life, particularly the youth."

The Archbishop has already visited monuments in Isfahan and Tabriz. He said Armenians think of Iran as their second homeland. "We believe that man is a creature of God and we are all obliged to establish peace for God's creatures on Earth."

The Archbishop said Armenians in Cyprus are familiar with Iran. "In addition to visiting religious centers and tourist attractions in Iran, we plan to hold talks on boosting cultural relations between the two countries."

He called for all-out relations between Iran and Cyprus and said: "Dialogue and regular meetings can help promote bilateral ties."

During his visit to Iran, it has become clear for the Archbishop that there is no discrimination against or pressure on Armenians in Iran and that, Muslims and Armenians coexist in peace and prosperity in Iran.

"We do not have any country like Iran which respects Armenians in this way and facilitates their cultural and religious activities," he noted.

Soleimani pointed to the role of Armenians in Iranian culture, art and industry and said: "Iran is home to a significant number of Armenians. Also among religious minorities living in Iran, Armenians are more content."

Many Armenian Iranians sacrificed their lives during the Iraqi-imposed war (1980-88). "Armenians are among the influential strata in Iran who have played a leading role in the defense of the country during the eight-year war."

One of the squares in Tehran has been named after an Armenian martyr. The former Shoa' Square in central Tehran was named after Gagik Tumanian to honor Armenian martyrs because of the large Armenian community in that area. This is an example of honoring Armenians in Iran.

He said the ICRO had planned visits across the country for the Cypriot delegation to help them become familiar with the lives of religious minorities.

Soleimani pointed to the articles in Iranian Constitution which respect the rights of religious minorities and said: "Islamic Republic of Iran's Constitution officially recognizes the rights and freedom of religious minorities' political and social participation just like those of other Iranian nationals."

According to the law, religious minorities must have a population of at least 10,000 people to be able to nominate a candidate in the legislative polls.

There is one representative for every 250,000 Muslims in the Parliament.

The ICRO official added: "Therefore, religious minorities can pursue and resolve their religious, cultural, social and welfare problems through the Parliament. This is a sign of concord and peaceful coexistence among various cultures, specially for the Armenians, in Iran."

Soleimani pointed to the knowledge-oriented ancient Iranian history and civilization and its international interactions and said: "Iran has always favored peace and moderation from the very beginning. The existence of ancient monuments and places of worship are evidence corroborating that Iran has been a propitious place for various ethnicities and religious minorities since ancient times."

He called for creating an atmosphere of peace and friendship in the world and said: "The atrocities and massacre of innocent people by the Takfiri terrorist groups have tarnished the image of the Muslims and Christians alike."

Soleimani referred to religious people as messengers of peace, tranquility, and prosperity. "People should have an influential role in creating a peaceful life based on dialogue, interaction, cooperation and constant communication since this culture is manifested among all social classes in a nation."

Source: Iran Daily

Link For Further Reading:

*350th Anniversary of Vank Cathedral:

*Cultural Importance of Vank Cathedral as Symbol of Coexistence of Religions:

*Qara Kelisa, St. Thaddeus Church: Day of St. Thaddeus:

*Photo Credit: ISNA, Mehr News, Fars News

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