Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 06:49 GMT

Iran: Information on the Armenian Apostolic Church and on how the church and its members are treated

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 November 1996
Citation / Document Symbol IRN25349.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Iran: Information on the Armenian Apostolic Church and on how the church and its members are treated, 1 November 1996, IRN25349.E, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


A representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in New York provided the following information during a telephone interview on 13 November 1996.

To the knowledge of the representative, there have been no restrictions on the Armenian Apostolic Church in Iran. Apostolic churches are open and their members worship freely. There have been no reports on ill-treatment of the church or its members.

 The representative added that Armenians as a community have not been treated differently from other Iranians. There is no government policy aimed specifically at the Armenians. The Armenians share difficulties that other Iranians face, including economic difficulties (e.g., inflation) and the imposition of the dress code for women. As far as the representative knows, the only major difficulty specific to the Armenians has been the issue of education. During the 1980s, the Iranian Ministry of Education pressured Armenian schools to teach their religious lessons in Persian instead of Armenian. After years of negotiations between the representatives of the Armenian community and the Ministry of Education, a settlement was reached, i.e., during the first two months of each school year, a ministry-provided Persian book on religious ethics is taught in Armenian schools while Armenian-approved religious lessons are taught in Armenian for the rest of the year. This was not a totally satisfactory settlement of the issue for both sides, but it settled the issue.

The DIRB does not have corroborating information on the status of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Iran.

Although not referring to the Armenian Apostolic Church in Iran, the attached copy Introduction to the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, which provides general information on the Armenian Apostolic church, might be useful.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRE within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Armenian Apostolic Church, New York. 13 November 1996. Telephone interview with representative.


Tchilingirian, Hratch. 1995. Introduction to the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church. Montreal: Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada, pp. 1-18.

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International country file (Iran). 1993-96.

Amnesty International Report. 1994-96.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. 1993-95.

DIRB Indexed Media Review [Ottawa]. 1993-96.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports. 1993-96.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. 1993-96.

The Middle East [London]. 1994-96.

Middle East International [London]. 1994-96.

On-line search of news articles.

Two oral sources consulted did not provide information on the above-mentioned subject.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

Search Refworld