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|Republic of Armenia
Location of Armenia on the European continent
|Anthem: Մեր Հայրենիք
St. Bartholomew the Apostle,
St. Gregory the Illuminator,
St. Jude the Apostle,
|-||Prime Minister||Tigran Sargsyan|
|-||Speaker of Parliament||Hovik Abrahamyan|
|-||2001 census||3,002,594 (103)|
|GDP (PPP)||2008 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2008 estimate|
|Time zone||AMT (UTC+4)|
|-||Summer (DST)||AMST (UTC+5)|
Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստան, Hayastan), officially the Republic of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun), is a landlocked mountainous country in Europe between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, located in the Southern Caucasus. It shares borders with Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan to the south. Its capital is Yerevan.
Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat, upon which Noah's Ark came to rest after the Flood (Genesis 8:4 ). It first emerged into written history around 800 BC as part of the Kingdom of Urartu or Van, which flourished in the Caucasus and eastern Asia Minor until 600 BC.
After the destruction of the Seleucid Empire, the first Armenian state—the Kingdom of Armenia—was founded in 190 BC. The kingdom reached its height between 95 and 66 BC, extending its rule over parts of Caucasus and the area that is now eastern Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. It became part of the Roman Empire in 66 BC and the Armenian people adopted a Western political, philosophical, and religious orientation.
Due to the influence of St. Gregory the Illuminator, Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD, establishing a church that, today, exists independently of both the Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches, having become so in 451 AD as a result of its excommunication by the Council of Chalcedon. The Armenian Apostolic Church is a part of the Oriental Orthodox communion, which must not be confused with the Eastern Orthodox communion.
From 1198 to 1375, the focus of Armenian nationalism moved south, as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, which had close ties to European Crusader states, flourished in southeastern Asia Minor until it was conquered by the Malmuks. Between the 4th and 19th centuries, Armenia was conquered and ruled by the Persians, the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Mongols, and the Turks. Parts of historic Armenia under Persian control centering on Yerevan and Lake Sevan were incorporated into Russia in the 1820s. World War I saw the depopulation of large parts of historic Armenia ruled by the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide.
In the aftermath of World War I, Armenia was briefly an independent republic from 1918 to 1920. In late 1920, the Communists came to power following an invasion of Armenia by the Red Army, and in 1922, Armenia became part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (TSFSR). In 1936, it became the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union on September 21, 1991.
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