The Army Chaplaincy Program of the Armenian Church
The Army Chaplaincy Program of the Armenian Church –
More Than 50 clergymen serve as chaplains to the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia. They organize various programs in the military – delivering lectures, meeting with soldiers, encouraging and praying for soldiers before each military exercise. They also visit border outposts, present educational films, and organize pilgrimages.
On November 8, a meeting took place at the Navasartian Centre in London. The speakers were Father Movses Sargsyan and the Armenian Defence Ministry spokesman Mr. Artsrun Hovhannisyan.
Father Movses has been in London three months to serve in the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland as a priest at St. Yeghiche Armenian Church. Before coming to London he had served in the Armenian army for more than 6 years. He is the deputy spiritual leader of the Armenian Armed Forces and at the meantime carries out spiritual duties for the Defence Army of Artsakh. After returning to Armenia he will continue his service there.
The second lecturer Mr. Hovhannisyan has been serving in the Armenian army since 1997. He became Defence Ministry Press Secretary in 2012. He has a degree in history and has also the military rank of major. The meeting was opened by Fr. Shnork Baghdassarian, who introduced the speakers and talked about the army’s unique role and importance.
The theme of Fr. Movses’s illustrated lecture was “The Armenian Army Chaplaincy”. He began his lecture with historical references to the Armenian Church’s position on homeland defence. The Armenian Church has always stood by the side of the army to protect the homeland, inspire them by words and deeds, by spiritual and material support during the history. When there was a loss of statehood, the Armenian Church took up a leadership role and often led the national liberation struggle. The Armenian clergymen have blessed the troops before a decisive battle and have often been present sometimes even participating in combat operations. The clergyman having Christ’s victorious Holy Cross in one hand and in the other the sword has always been at the soldier’s and commander’s side.
Fr. Movses also talked about the Armenian Army Chaplaincy’s function, structure, mission and implemented measures. Mr. Hovhannisyan gave an extensive and informative lecture on “The Armenian Armed Forces Functions and their Further Development”. There were many questions from the audience, who received full and reasonable answers.
Armenian Church News