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Features > Early adopters: Two of the leading first nations to embrace Christianity were Armenia & Georgia, where traces of the early faith are still visible

14 February 2018 | by Simon Scott Plummer

Early adopters: Two of the leading first nations to embrace Christianity were Armenia & Georgia, where traces of the early faith are still visible

 

Forming a passageway between East and West, Armenia and Georgia have been prey to attacks by the Romans, Persians, Arabs, Seljuk Turks, Mongols, the Turkic Timur or Tamerlane, Ottoman Turks and Russians. Yet both nations have survived. The clue to their unlikely survival lies in their Christian identity.

These hauntingly beautiful countries became the first kingdoms to declare Christianity as their state religion. The Churches in both countries call themselves apostolic, the Armenian tracing its origins to the apostles Andrew and Simon, the Georgian to Bartholomew and Thaddeus. Armenia gives the date of national conversion as 301, after St Gregory the Illuminator had baptised King Tiridates IV. 





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