Returning historical churches is our most topical issue: Bp. Mirzakhanian
YEREVAN, AUGUST 13, ARMENPRESS. The returning of the historical Armenian churches and lack of clergy are the most topical issues of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia. As reports "Armenpress", "Union" information centre of the Armenian community of Georgia had a conversation with the Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia Bishop Vasken Mirzakhanian regarding the Armenian community, diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia and its relations with the Georgian Church.
The Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia Bishop Vasken Mirzakhanian stated that at the course of ten years of his being in office the acting cathedrals and churches have been restored. A lot of work has been conducted with the people via the organized events, information sources, and active presence thus changing the attitude of the Georgian officials and the Georgian people towards the Armenian nation and Armenian Church. "This year the Prime Minister of Georgia attended the ceremonies dedicated to the Holy Nativity. One year ago the President himself honored the liturgy served in Holy Nativity. The Mayor and a number of Ministers, Deputies, and spiritual leaders of other churches as well attended the Easter Mass. These all prove that the people’s attitude towards the Armenians changes," the Primate of the Diocese of Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Holy Church in Georgia Bishop Vasken Mirzakhanian noted.
Bishop Vasken Mirzakhanian (baptismal name Edward) was born on 21 July 1965 in the village of Artimed (formerly Atarbekian) of the district of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin). He studied in the secondary school of the village starting in 1971, and graduated in 1982.
He entered the Gevorkian Theological Seminary at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in 1982. From 1984 to 1986 he deferred the continuation of his education to serve in the Soviet Army. After the completion of his tour of duty, he continued his studies at the Seminary.
He was ordained to the diaconate on 7 May 1989 by Archbishop Housik Santourian. In 1990, he successfully defended his final theses entitled The life and Literary Heritage of Archimandrite Grigor Skearatsi.
On 4 September 2002, he was appointed to serve as the Primate of the Diocese of Georgia. Father Vazken was consecrated as a Bishop on 23 July 2003, by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin II, in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.