Churches and Monasteries
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During the first century, Christianity spread throughout Armenia, reaching the eastern border of the country, where the 10 historic Armenian provinces of Artsakh are located. The Apostle Thaddeus who brought Christianity to Armenia was martyred on the border of Artsakh in Artaz. Eghishe (Elisha), one of his disciples, carried word of Thaddeus’ martyrdom to Jerusalem, whereupon he was ordained, returning to Aghvank (Caucasian Albania) to continue his teacher’s mission. Soon Elisha too met his teacher’s fate. However, over the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the religious landscape transformed completely, culminating in Armenia’s conversion to Christianity by St. Gregory the Illuminator.
Returning from Caesarea, St. Gregory the Illuminator founded churches throughout Armenia, one of which was the Church of Amaras, where he established the Armenian Diocese of Aghvank.
The Artsakh Diocese is the successor to the Armenian Diocese of Aghvank.