The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

OD3_5043The first Patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem was the Apostle St. James. In 381 during the second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, the Episcopate of Jerusalem became a Patriarchate.

Beginning in the 4th century numerous Armenian pilgrims visited Jerusalem. Armenian principalities and Episcopal Sees built many monasteries there for the use of their pilgrims and religious communities. The number of these monasteries amounted to 70 in the 6th century.

In the middle of the 6th century, after the adoption of the doctrine of Chalcedon by the Byzantine Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Armenian Church of Jerusalem was separated from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and became the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

The first Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem was Abraham who, according to the Arab historian Zeki-al-Din, seeing that the influence of Muhammad was growing stronger, went to him personally in 626 and received an official document regarding the safety of the Armenian Church and her possessions in Jerusalem.

When King Oshin and the Catholicos Constantine III of Caesarea forced the Armenian Church to adopt the dogmatic and ritual changes of the Council of Sis in 1307, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Sarkis, wishing to preserve the purity of the doctrine of the Armenian Church, obtained an official document from the Sultan of Egypt, permitting him to take his See from the control of the Catholicosate of All Armenians and to function independently as of 1311.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem is the guardian of the Holy Shrines which are jointly shared by the Churches of the Holy Land.

Today the Patriarchate of Jerusalem oversees the Armenian Churches of Israel, Palestine and Jordan.

Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem

PO Box 14235, Jerusalem 91141

Telephone:    (9722) 628-2331Fax:(9722) 626-4861




The Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople

In 1461 sultan Muhammad II Fatih established the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople by appointing Bishop Hovakim as Patriarch. Since the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the administrative center of the Armenian Church was under the authority of Persia, by establishing the Patriarchate, the Sultan intended to control the Armenians living within the boundaries of the Ottoman state through the Patriarch.

The Patriarch had full authority over the people in both spiritual and civic power, and for all practical purposes he was an ethnarch. That was the reason that both the Catholicosates of Akhthamar and Cilicia were subject to the Patriarchate of Constantinople in all administrative matters until World War I.

Up until the first World War the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople included 52 dioceses. The dioceses of Baghdad, Cyprus, Egypt, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece were among these dioceses.

Today the Patriarchate of Constantinople has jurisdiction over the Armenian Churches of Turkey and the island of Crete, Greece.

Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople

Sarapnel Sokak TR-34130, KumkapiIstanbul, Turkey

Telephone:    (90-212) 5170970

Fax:             (90-212) 5164833

E-mail : ; Website :