World’s Northernmost Armenian Church Opens in Yakutsk

Newly-built Saint Karapet church in Yakutsk

YAKUTSK, Russia (Arka)—An Armenian Apostolic church has opened in Russia’s icy Yakutia region, Novosti-Armenia reports, citing RIA Novosti.

The new church, named Saint Karapet, was commissioned in June of 2011 to be built in the city of Yakutsk. All of the building materials for the church have been transported from Armenia with a construction cost of 100 million rubles (about $2.7 mil.), mostly raised by philanthropists and community parishioners.

The opening ceremony was attended by deputy head of the government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), head of the Armenian community in Yakutia Khoren Sahakyan, head of a delegation from Armenia and governor of Aragatsotn province Sargis Sargsyan, representative of the Russian Orthodox eparchies of Yakutsk and Lensk Hieromonk Nikandr, and others.

Head of the Novo-Nakhichevan and Russian eparchies of the Armenian Apostolic Church bishop Yezras Nersisyan consecrated the church and rendered a service at the ceremony, says the report.

Busts of famous contemporary Armenians, including arctic and Antarctic explorer Artur Chilingarov, are installed outside the church building.

The report also says a center with a Sunday school, a studio, and an office for the Union of Armenians of Yakutsk will be opened in the territory of the church this December. Kids of any ethnicity will have an opportunity to study literature, culture and history of Yakutia and Russia in the school.


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  1. Armenian said:

    Unbelievable that there is a large enough Armenian community in middle-of-nowhere Siberia to open an Armenian church. I don’t see why Asbarez would even want to publicize this because it’s really nothing to be proud of. Besides a stipend, what does Siberia have that Armenia doesn’t?

    This is the dynamic of the Russo-Armenian “brotherhood”: Armenians go to Russia, break their backs to beautify Siberia and the rest of the country, while Russia sells weapons to the Azeris for them to lodge into our homes, creates a politically, economically and socially draining environment of no-war-no-peace by supporting autocratic and xenophobic dictators like Aliyev and making us dependent on them for the false glimmer of hope that they would risk their men to fight our war. Wake up, Armenians– we obviously have no true friends apart from ourselves (and even that might be a bit too generous because some Armenians are more Russian than anything else).

  2. Hratch said:

    Artur Chilingarov sums it all up. Eventually, whether we like it or not, assimilation will take its toll. If a human with logic and reason can evolve from Chilingarian to Chilingarov so too will a mere edifice in a foreign land.

  3. Armenian said:

    Am I the only one enraged by the irony in this; that the seemingly loaded Armenian Apostolic Church neglects one of Jesus’s most fundamental teachings to help the poor? Forget that Armenians would be willing to live in negative temperatures for a simple stipend, but are we missing the bigger picture here? Does the Armenian Church only surface when it needs to “remind women of their place in society” or “remind Armenian society about the dangers of gays”? Some church. I bet the oligarchy shares some of their bounty with them, too, in an exchange for their compliance and influence.

    They spent 2.7 million dollars on a church in barren and sub-zero Siberia, but here we are, being asked to donate money to help families in Gyumri’s families so they can get out of cans, and help build roads from Hayastan to Gharabagh, things that the government should already be able to do thanks to something called “revenue”? Why doesn’t the church play an active roll in providing these services? They have enough money to erect churches in barren Siberia, but not enough to help their countrymen who are living in dire poverty thanks to the very criminals they’ve gladly partnered with?

    Is it the diaspora’s job to contribute to social welfare services and infrastructure development in a country that is rich in minerals and resources, and with less corruption and proper taxation, could be self-sufficient with an increasingly smaller population? I hope the Armenian government and all of the people who support them knows that even ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is capable of collecting taxes, fixing potholes, providing social services, and the like. Are we not even capable of competing with a rudimentary terrorist organization?

    Mi hat ISIS’i chap el ch’kanq? Eh– k’nereq, mi qich shat khosatsi– Slava Rossiya! Depi Naxichevan! Javakha mern a!