Christian saint’s anniversary celebrations in Iran

Christian saint’s anniversary celebrations in Iran:-
Tehran | June 27, 2005 1:44:01 PM IST

Webindia123, India
June 27 2005

Christians from all over the world will gather at Iran’s Saint Thaddeus
Church July 1 for the annual commemoration of the martyrdom anniversary
of St Thaddeus.

The St Thaddeus Church, also known as the Black Church (Ghara Kelisa),
is Iran’s most notable Christian monument, located near the Chalderan
region in Maku, West Azerbaijan, reports Mehr News Agency.

One of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples, St Thaddeus, also known as St
Jude (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), was martyred while
spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian
Church. As legend has it, a church dedicated to him was first built
on the present site in 68 AD.

Nothing appears to remain of the original church, which was extensively
rebuilt in the 13th century, but some sections around the altar may
date back to the 10th century. Most of the present structure dates
to the 17th century and is of carved sandstone.

The apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew travelled through Armenia in 45
AD to preach the word of god. Many people were converted and numerous
secret Christian communities were established.

When the Armenian kingdom split into two parts, King Ananun gave the
order to kill St Thaddeus in Edessa. The king’s daughter Sandokht,
who had converted to Christianity, was martyred with Thaddeus. Her
tomb is located near the St Thaddeus Church.

Only Christians will be allowed to visit the church during the