Where does the Armenian Church fit into Orthodoxy?
Armenia was the first nation to convert to Christianity,a decade or so before the Emperor Constantine’s proclamation of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. It was St. Gregory the Illuminator who instructed King Trdat III. Creation of the Armenian alphabet and early translation of Scripture into Armenian soon followed.
The Armenian Church’s ties with the rest of Christianity were severed after its refusal to accept the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, although contacts with Byzantium were not completely broken.
Today the Armenian Church is numbered among the “Oriental Orthodox” communities, which include the Coptic, Ethiopian, and Syrian Orthodox churches. Collectively these churches are also often called “Non-Chalcedonian” churches.
In recent times intense dialogue has been undertaken by the Orthodox and Oriental churches to ascertain prospects for reunion. While in general principle it is agreed that the doctrine of Christ as confessed by the Oriental churches is indeed Orthodox, definitive steps to restore communion have yet to be undertaken.