St. Vartanants Church
St. Vartanants Church "Serpots Vartanants" in Armenian was established in 1986 and was anointed as an Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in 1987 at Tehran. St. Vartanants Church is the last Armenian or Christian church which was built in Iran.
At the center of Tehran there is a locality called Heshmatiye, Armenians name it Sardarabad. (Sardarabad is name of a place and specially a battle that took place in the same place in early 20th century in Armenia.) In this locality there is an Avenue named “Dahmetri Aramane”. At a time there was strong number of Armenians who lived in this area, but gradually time pass the community in this locality shrink in number.
At beginning when the community was strong in number and there was no church in this area, so therefore they felt to have a church in their locality which was a need for survival of the community in this area. There was a school named “Sahakian” in Dahmetri Aramane Ave. and the school had a hall which was large in size. Since there was no land in the area to build a church, so the school hall was modified into a church. With the help of the Armenian Prelacy of Tehran and certain circumstances that was caused after Iranian revolution, the church was finally established and then anointed in 1987.
The church was named after an Armenian saint named Vartan from 5th century who was martyred for the sake of the faith in Christ. St.Vartan fought a battle against Sassanid army in defense of his faith and people. St. Vartan fought with handful number of small army against Sassanid army who were outnumbered than Armenia's army. Physically the battle was lost and St. Vartan with all his men in arms was martyred but in long run they won the battle morally in honor and dignity. St. Vartan is one of important saints in Armenian Church and for the whole Armenian people all around the world.
The St. Vartanants Church in Tehran is the only Armenian Church which had no any particular benefactors but it was established by the hands of the people in the community. Therefore sometimes people in area call it people's church.
The St. Vartanants Church was Blessed and Glorified trice by His Holiness Aram I the Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia as he visited Iran three times in 1996, 2005 and 2008 respectively.The Armenian bishop who was the prelate of Armenians in Tehran died in 1999 and in the same year a new bishop was appointed for Prelacy of Armenians in Tehran. The new bishop is named Sepooh Sarkissian. Since 1999 Archbishop S.Sarkissian is the prelate of Armenians in Tehran. After arrival of new bishop the Archbishop S.Sarkissian more effort was and is made for better improvements in St. Vartanants Church and the Armenian community in the area.
Unfortunately after Iranian Revolution much of Armenian population in Iran has immigrated to western countries in general and America in particular, so therefore the community is shrunk in number. And Armenian community in Heshmatiye locality also effected by wave of immigrations that is taken place for last 30 years. Now few families have left in St. Vartanants church's area and if nothing is done to save the church and the community in near future, the church and the community will face the tragedy of extinction