SOAR - Jerusalem Chapter
Jerusalem became part of the SOAR family in April 2015. The first recorded Armenian pilgrimage to the Holy Land was an Armenian delegation of priests in the early 4th century. The visit is alluded to in an Armenian translation of a Greek letter written by Patriarch Makarius of Jerusalem to his contemporary, St. Vertanes. The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem was founded in 638. It is located in the Armenian Quarter, the smallest quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Many Armenians from Kutayka, a city in Turkey, were known for their hand-painted ceramic wares and tiles. In 1919, several master craftsmen were brought to Jerusalem to renovate the tiles covering the facade of the Dome of the Rock. They remained in Jerusalem and developed the art of Armenian ceramics.
After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the establishment of the State of Israel, a number of Armenians residing in what had been the British Mandate of Palestine took up Israeli citizenship, while other Armenian residents of Old City of Jerusalem assumed Jordanian nationality. Two groups of Armenians emerged: Armenians with Israeli citizenship living within the borders of the state and Armenians with Jordanian nationality in Jerusalem’s
Armenian Quarter and the West Bank.
A great majority of Armenians in Israel are Armenian Orthodox, but there are also a small number are Armenian Catholics and Armenian Evangelicals. The Armenian Orthodox remain under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the residing Patriarch under the auspices of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Holy Echmiadzin), whereas the Armenian Catholics are under the jurisdiction of the Armenian Catholic Church.
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