Armenian Church in Germany

The Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Germany was founded in 1991 with a kondak (encyclical) of His Holiness Wasken I, Catholicos of All Armenians. It is part of the Armenian Apostolic Church and is under the jurisdiction of the Catholicate of All Armenians in Surb Etchmiadzin.

Historical review

In the 1930s about 700 Armenians lived in Germany. Archarchimandrite Grigor Shahlamian, who came to Germany in 1922 as a theology student, was the first Armenian clergyman to take up pastoral work in Germany in the 20th century. After completing his studies, he looked after the local Armenians from Berlin from 1926 to 1945 and then from Stuttgart until his death on February 21, 1952. Between 1945 and 1948 another Armenian clergyman, Archpriest Vahan Askarian, also served as parish priest in Stuttgart and Esslingen. After the death of Archarchimandrite Shahlamian, the Armenians remained without a permanent parish priest until 1965. Nevertheless, they were ecclesiastically organized under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchal Delegate for Western Europe, based in Paris, who, at the request of the Armenians, occasionally sent an Armenian cleric from Paris to Germany.

In 1965 the future primate of the diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany, Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian, at that time still an archimandrite, came to Germany as a student, where he stayed until 1972. During this time, with the permission of the Patriarchal Delegate for Western Europe and at the request of the local Armenians, he celebrated services in Cologne, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Frankfurt and in some other cities in Germany. Parallel to him and also afterwards, the Viennese archarchimandrite Mesrop Grigorian often visited Germany and celebrated church services mainly in Berlin. During this period, the Armenians began to form their own community structures in Germany. By order of the Catholicos of All Armenians, SH Wasken I. (1955-1994), Archimandrite Karekin Nersisian (today Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians) came to Germany in 1975 and took over the pastoral care of the Armenians in the Armenians until his return to Armenia in 1978 federal republic. After him Archimandrite Hagop Keledjian (today Archbishop, Primate of the Armenian Church in Uruguay) came to Germany, who looked after the local Armenian communities between 1978 and 1983.

On January 2, 1980, Wasken I. issued an official encyclical placing the Armenian parishes in Germany under the jurisdiction of the newly dispatched Patriarchal Delegate for Central Europe (Austria, Germany, Scandinavian countries) based in Vienna. Since then also Archarchimandrite Vazken Tatoyan (1980–1984, deceased), Bishop Davit Sahagian as visiting priest (1983–1985, deceased), Archparish Hagop Geuktchian (1986–1998, deceased), Archimandrite Komitas Hovnanyan (1987–1999, now in France) the pastoral work for the Armenians in Germany.

In 1992, the then Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Wasken I, also founded a diocese in the Federal Republic of Germany with its headquarters in Cologne through an official encyclical, which was presided over by Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian. Five other clergymen worked alongside him. In addition to the diocese, there are also other associations and communities in Germany, some cultural (about 20) and some religious (about 15). These latter are subordinate to the Diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany, which organizes their cooperation. A diocesan plan based on the canonical regulations and the democratic administration of the Armenian Church was developed.

After the retirement of Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian in January 2018, HH Archimandrite Serovpé Isakhanyan was elected the new primate of the Armenian Diocese in Germany on Sunday, April 15, 2018, by the extraordinarily convened diocesan delegates' assembly in Cologne. He was ordained bishop on May 12, 2019.

Historical review

In the 1930s about 700 Armenians lived in Germany. Archarchimandrite Grigor Shahlamian, who came to Germany in 1922 as a theology student, was the first Armenian clergyman to take up pastoral work in Germany in the 20th century. After completing his studies, he looked after the local Armenians from Berlin from 1926 to 1945 and then from Stuttgart until his death on February 21, 1952. Between 1945 and 1948 another Armenian clergyman, Archpriest Vahan Askarian, also served as parish priest in Stuttgart and Esslingen. After the death of Archarchimandrite Shahlamian, the Armenians remained without a permanent parish priest until 1965. Nevertheless, they were ecclesiastically organized under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchal Delegate for Western Europe, based in Paris, who, at the request of the Armenians, occasionally sent an Armenian cleric from Paris to Germany.

In 1965 the future primate of the diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany, Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian, at that time still an archimandrite, came to Germany as a student, where he stayed until 1972. During this time, with the permission of the Patriarchal Delegate for Western Europe and at the request of the local Armenians, he celebrated services in Cologne, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Frankfurt and in some other cities in Germany. Parallel to him and also afterwards, the Viennese archarchimandrite Mesrop Grigorian often visited Germany and celebrated church services mainly in Berlin. During this period, the Armenians began to form their own community structures in Germany. By order of the Catholicos of All Armenians, SH Wasken I. (1955-1994), Archimandrite Karekin Nersisian (today Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians) came to Germany in 1975 and took over the pastoral care of the Armenians in the Armenians until his return to Armenia in 1978 federal republic. After him Archimandrite Hagop Keledjian (today Archbishop, Primate of the Armenian Church in Uruguay) came to Germany, who looked after the local Armenian communities between 1978 and 1983.

On January 2, 1980, Wasken I. issued an official encyclical placing the Armenian parishes in Germany under the jurisdiction of the newly dispatched Patriarchal Delegate for Central Europe (Austria, Germany, Scandinavian countries) based in Vienna. Since then also Archarchimandrite Vazken Tatoyan (1980–1984, deceased), Bishop Davit Sahagian as visiting priest (1983–1985, deceased), Archparish Hagop Geuktchian (1986–1998, deceased), Archimandrite Komitas Hovnanyan (1987–1999, now in France) the pastoral work for the Armenians in Germany.

In 1992, the then Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Wasken I, also founded a diocese in the Federal Republic of Germany with its headquarters in Cologne through an official encyclical, which was presided over by Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian. Five other clergymen worked alongside him. In addition to the diocese, there are also other associations and communities in Germany, some cultural (about 20) and some religious (about 15). These latter are subordinate to the Diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany, which organizes their cooperation. A diocesan plan based on the canonical regulations and the democratic administration of the Armenian Church was developed.

After the retirement of Archbishop Karekin Bekdjian in January 2018, HH Archimandrite Serovpé Isakhanyan was elected the new primate of the Armenian Diocese in Germany on Sunday, April 15, 2018, by the extraordinarily convened diocesan delegates' assembly in Cologne. He was ordained bishop on May 12, 2019.

diocesan bodies

The main organs of the diocese are the Diocesan Delegates' Assembly (DDV) and the Diocesan Advisory Board (DB). The DDV is the highest parliamentary and legislative body of the diocese. All parishes have at least one and at most ten elected secular delegates. The number depends on the number of parishioners. One delegate is elected for every 50 members. The primate and the clergy of the diocese are also members of the DDV, but the clergy may not make up more than ten percent of the total. Delegates are elected for a three-year term and may be re-elected.

The diocesan advisory board with its eight secular members is the executive body of the diocese. The primate is a voting member of the diocesan advisory council by virtue of his office. The members of the diocesan advisory board are elected by the DDV for a term of three years and may be re-elected. The primate of the diocese is the honorary chairman of the DDV and the diocesan advisory board.

The congregations at the local level and the diocese at the federal level are members of the Working Group of Christian Churches (ACK). The ACK is an ecumenical institution in which a wide variety of religious, church and social issues and challenges are discussed and advised. She also organizes joint ecumenical services, conferences and events.

The Bishop, as understood by the Armenian Apostolic Church, is a successor to the Apostles in the administration and service of the Church. He bears responsibility for maintaining the worldwide unity of the church by preserving the truth and unity of faith and practice in his own diocese.

The diocesan bishop is the official delegate of the Catholicos of All Armenians in Germany. Together with the secular chairman of the diocesan assembly of delegates or the chairman of the diocesan advisory board, he represents the diocese and the Armenian congregations affiliated with it towards the German state, political, church and religious institutions and towards the Republic of Armenia and its representatives in the Federal Republic of Germany.

HE Bishop Serovpé Isakhanyan

The Diocesan Delegates Assembly (DDV) is the supreme legislative body of the diocese. It meets at least once a year. Members of the DDV are the primate, the diocesan delegates of the parishes, the chairmen of the parishes, the clergy of the diocese. Any member of the diocese can be elected as a DDV delegate after at least one year of membership.

Tasks and powers of the DDV include the election of the diocesan bishop, the decree and the amendment of the statutes of the diocese. For example, the DDV decides on the budget of the diocese and regulates the use of membership fees, etc.

The DDV elects a presidium from among its members, which conducts and records the meetings impartially and fairly. The Presiding Committee safeguards the dignity and rights of the DDV and exercises domiciliary rights in the meeting rooms during conferences.

The Diocesan Advisory Council (DB) is the executive body of the diocese. It consists of 9 to 11 secular and spiritual members. The number of spiritual DB members, including primates, must not exceed one third of the total number of DB members. The primate (diocesan bishop) is a voting member and honorary chairman of the DB by virtue of his office. All other DB members are elected by the DDV for a 3-year term.

The duties and powers of the DB include the administration of the activities of the diocese in collaboration with the primate. She decides on the acceptance of applications from new parishes to join the diocese and is responsible for establishing diocesan ecclesiastical, charitable, social and youth work committees with the aim of making the activities of the diocese and the Armenian parishes more productive and fruitful . The DB is also responsible for implementing the resolutions of the DDV.

The Church Council of the Armenian Church in Germany consists of the clergy serving in the diocese. The tasks and powers of the parish council are:

a) overseeing the unadulterated preservation of the doctrine and traditions of the Armenian Church within the diocese; b) The examination of questions pertaining to the spiritual life and its structure and development; c) examining those questions of a religious character that have negative effects in the communities; d) exploring ways to create religious and ecclesial vitality in communities and deepen ecumenical relationships; e) publication of literature necessary for Christian upbringing and formation; f) The formation of an ecclesiastical committee to review complaints made against clergy.

priest

Archimandrite Yeghische Avetisyan

Parish Pastor for East Germany and Berlin

Rev. Dr. Diradur Sardaryan

Parish priest for Baden-Württemberg

Rev. Gnel Gabrielyan

Parish priest in Hesse & southern Rhineland-Palatinate

Rev. Aygik Hovhannisyan

parish priest for Bavaria

Rev. Hratsch Biliciyan

Parish Pastor for Northern Germany

Rev. Vahridj Baghdasaryan

Parish priest in Cologne and the surrounding area

deacons

Deacon Arman Pilibosyan
Deacon Murat Kabaradjian
Deacon Bedros Garinyan
Deacon Kevork Babasiz
Deacon Hacub Sahinian

Deacon Harutyun Karagulyan
Deacon Garbis Karakavaf
Deacon Simon Halkacioglu
Deacon Kevork Senyar
Deacon Sayat Boyacian

Deacon Ara Öznakasiyan
Deacon Vahe Tascilar
Deacon Grigor Grigoryan
Deacon Heik Kotscharian
Deacon Stephen Haroutunian
Deacon Faskin Ghazaryan

subdeacons

Arman Susluyan
Hacik Bilibozoglu
Varujan Demircioglu
Hazaros Guleryan

dr theol. Hacik Gazer
Christopher Bedikian
Avedis Garinyan
Garo Aroyan

departments

Faith, Mission & Ecumenism Department
Leader: NN
Email: ref1 (at) dakd.de

The Faith, Mission & Ecumenism department has a wide range of tasks. Basic theological questions, current questions of social interaction, ecumenism, ethics, tasks in the field of journalism and community development are located here.

Department of Education
Leader: NN
Email: ref2 (at) dakd.de

The Education Department is responsible for education issues. It includes the areas of catechesis, religious instruction, Saturday or Sunday schools, training and further education of church servants and employees, advice and support for students, extracurricular educational measures in the area of children, youth and adult education.

Art & Culture department
Leader: NN
Email: ref3 (at) dakd.de

Art and culture are renamed and inseparable parts of church life. The Art & Culture department provides the building and art requirements to enable and guarantee the diverse missionary work of the church. The department is responsible for the conceptual support and promotion of the cultural projects of the parishes and church institutions. Church music is also located here.

Deaconry & Social Affairs
Leader: NN
Email: ref4 (at) dakd.de

Church social service is nothing more than putting the faith of our church into practice. The department is responsible for the diaconal and social service of the diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany. It is in the service of the people here in Germany and tries as far as possible to do its service in the field of development aid.

Press & Public Relations Department
Leader: Deacon Sayad Boyacian
Email: ref5 (at) dakd.de

Information, communication and presentation of the diocese of the Armenian Church in Germany, advising its parishes and church institutions internally and externally are the most important tasks of the department for press and public relations.

Finance & Real Estate Department
Leader: NN
Email: ref6 (at) dakd.de

The Finance & Real Estate Department is responsible for financial and asset management within the diocese. She also advises the Armenian parishes and church institutions of the diocese on planning and controlling.

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Our communities

Armenian Holy Cross Church
Lerchenberger Str. 48, 73035 GÖPPINGEN

Parish Office & Post:
Armenian Community of Baden-Württemberg eV
Lerchenbergerstrasse 52, 73035 Goeppingen
Phone: 07161/8084717; Fax: 07161/8084709
Email: bw@dakd.de
www.agbw.org

Armenian community Bebra eV
c/o Mr. Jaraeir Khajo, Chairman
To the fisherman's farm 13
36199 Rotenburg ad Fulda
Tel: 06623 3009539
Email: bebra@dakd.de

Church: Epiphany Church Vilsendorf
Vilsendorfer Strasse 230, 33739 Bielefeld

Post: Armenian Community Bielefeld eV
c/o Anayit Turanoglu
Ennigerloherstr. 50, 59302 OELDE
Phone: 02522/61484; Fax: 02522/8962036
Email: bielefeld@dakd.de
www.armenier-bielefeld.de

Church: St. Michaelis
Echternstr. 12, 38100 BRUNSWICK

Post: Armenian Community Braunschweig eV
c/o Mr Ohannes KALUSTIAN
Im Emmerfeld 31, 38122 Braunschweig
Phone: 0531/85137
Email: braunschweig@dakd.de

Church: St Pius Church
Willakedamm 6, 28259 BREMEN

Post: Armenian community Bremen eV
Kirchhuchtinger Landstrasse 137, 28259 BREMEN
Phone: 0421/84001871
Email: bremen@dakd.de

Post: Armenian community in the Ruhr area (Duisburg) eV
c/o Mr. Matevos Davtyan
Schlagelstr. 67, 46045 Oberhausen
Tel:0157/83454518
Email: duisburg@dakd.de

Church: gospel Church
parish street 5, 35435 Wettenberg

Post: Armenian Community Giessen eV
c/o Abraham ABRAHAMIAN
Schubertstr. 3, 35440 Linden
Phone: 06403/71197
Email: giessen@dakd.de
www.a-rm.de

Church: Wall.-Dutch Church
French Allee, 63450 HANAU

Parish Office & Post:
Armenian Community Hessen eV
long street 96-98, 63450 Hanau
Email: hanau@dakd.de
www.a-rm.de

Church: St. Maria Church
Heidenstrasse 1, 77694 KEHL

Post: Armenian Community Kehl eV
PO Box 1126, 77621 KEHL
Phone: 07851/72821
Email: kehl@dakd.de

Armenian Church Surp Sahag-Mesrop
Allensteinerstr. 5, 50735 COLOGNE

Post: Armenian community Cologne eV
Allensteiner Str. 5, 50735 COLOGNE
Phone: 0221/32018950
Email: koeln@dakd.de
www.armenischegemeindekoeln.de

Church: Altmunster Church
Muensterstr. 25, 55116 MAINZ

Post: Armenian Community Mainz eV
c/o Mr. Zaven ASA
Goldbrunnengasse 7-9, 55116 Mainz
Phone: 0176/3 254 53 05
Email: mainz@dakd.de
www.a-rm.de

Church: St Anna
Damenstiftstr. 1, 80331 MUNICH

Post: Armenian Community Munich eV
c/o Mrs. Silva GHOKAS
Ichardinger Str. 45, 81671 Munich
Phone: 089/68008180
Email: muenchen@dakd.de

Church: St. Boniface
Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 3, 56567 Neuwied

Post: Armenian community Neuwied eV
PO Box 130206, 56534 Neuwied
Phone: 02632/934536
Email: neuwied@dakd.de

Church: Christ Church
Siemensplatz 2, 90443 NUREMBERG

Post: Armenian community Nuremberg eV
c/o Mrs. Dr. Margaret ASSOIAN-LINK
Am Vogelherd 2, 91080 UTTENREUTH
Phone: 09131/54429, fax: 09131/54677
Email: nuernberg@dakd.de
www.armenier-nuernberg.de

Armenian Church of Sb. Harutyun
Alfred-Reinhardt-Str. 8, 06132 HALLE/SAALE

Post: Armenian Community Saxony-Anhalt eV
Alfred-Reinhardt-Str. 8, 06132 HALLE/SAALE
Phone: 0345/5163022; Fax: 0345/5163024
Email: halle@dakd.de

Church: Luisenkirche
Gierkeplatz 4, 10585 BERLIN CHARLOT

Post: Armenian church and cultural community Berlin eV
Behaimstr. 22, 10585 BERLIN
Phone: 030/34508607/8; Fax: 030/34508609
Email: berlin@dakd.de
www.armenierberlin.de

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