Frontier (Keston Institute, Oxford) June-August 1996 pp. 12-14
Armenia's new church leader, Karekin I, must heal the rifts within the Armenian Church before he can plan for the future, writes Hratch Tchilingirian
In April 1995, the new Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church was elected in Echmiadzin, Armenia. Almost 9 million Armenians in the republic, the 'near abroad', and the diaspora were represented a the ceremony by 400 delegates from over 32 countries. The event represented many historical firsts. The National Ecclesiastical Assembly, the highest legislative body of the Armenian Church, composed of 26 per cent clergy and 74 per cent lay people) was convening for the first time in 40 years. The election was taking place for the first time in a free and independent Republic of Armenia. For the first time in history, the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, in Lebanon, was elected Catholicos of All Armenians in Echmiadzin. The President of Armenia addressed the NEA for the first time and witnessed the enthronement of the new Catholicos.