The Armenian Apostolic Church descends directly from Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholemew, who were the first evangelizers in Armenia. As a result, our faith continues to be practiced in the same way, and our beliefs have not changed, from what the Apostles taught us almost 2,000 years. Armenia also became the first Christian nation in 301, when St. Gregory baptized the King and royal family. Gregory was later ordained as the first Catholicos of the Armenians, but persecution and conflict led to the movement of the Holy See several times throughout history, until it was based in Cilicia in 1116. While some church leaders returned to Etchmiadzin after the fall of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia more than three centuries later, the Catholicate of the Great House of Cilicia remained and a second Catholicos was named in Etchmiadzin. We invite you to learn more about our faith and its history.