Armenians in Switzerland

The exact number of Armenians in the country is unknown, but it is unofficially estimated that about 3,000-5,000 Armenians live in Switzerland.

The majority of Swiss Armenians are members of the Armenian Apostolic Church under the jurisdiction of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin. There are four church regions (tems): Geneva, Zurich, Neuchatel and Lugano. The Saint Hagop Church in Troinex / Geneva serves mainly the west of the country, whereas Armenians living in the east parts conduct their religious services in a number of sister Swiss churches. There are also a smaller number of Armenian Catholics belonging to the Armenian Catholic Church and even a smaller number of Armenian Evagelicals.

A number of Armenian associations operate in Switzerland:

  • Union Arménienne de Suisse (UAS) is certainly the biggest operating Armenian association. Based in Geneva, it organizes an annual European Intercommunity Tournament in the city.
  • Union Genérale Arménienne de Bienfaisance (UGAB)
  • H.O.M – Association de secours arménienne de Suisse with the Swiss branch established in 2006.
  • AVZ – Armenischer Verein Zürich in Zurich established in 2005.
  • ARTZAKANK-ECHO- Genève – Since 1986 it publishes the bilingual Artzakank in French and Armenian.
  • Switzerland-Armenia Association” / Association Suisse-Arménie / Gesellschaft Schweiz-Armenien, a majour community organization for Armenians in Switzerland.
  • Centre Arménien de Genève” community center near Saint Hagop.

Switzerland recognized Armenia as an independent state on December 23, 1991. The two countries have maintained diplomatic relations ever since. The Armenian ambassador to Switzerland and the Swiss ambassador to Armenia (based in Tbilisi,Georgia) were both accredited in 2002. In 2011 the first resident Ambassador ofSwitzerland started his mission in Yerevan. The Armenian ambassador to Switzerland is based in Geneva, in the Armenian representation to the United Nations.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by the National Council December 16, 2003 by 107 votes against 67. Launched by Mr Jean-Claude Vaudroz in March 2002 – with support from other Nils de Dardel (PS / Geneva), Patrice Mugny (Greens / Geneva), Jean-Philippe Maitre (PDC / GE), Claude Ruey (Liberal / Vaud) and Ruth-Gaby Vermot-Mangold (PS / Bern) – the premise was echoed by Mr Dominique de Buman (PDC / Fribourg). This assumption, which called the Federal Council to reconnnaître genocide, was supported by all the national churches and the Swiss Parliamentary Group for Human Rights.

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2 thoughts on “Armenians in Switzerland”

  1. Dear Tamar,
    Kindly change the name “Association des Dames Arméniennes” in the list of Swiss Armenian Associations. As a matter of fact, this association changed its name in 2012 into “ARTZAKANK-ECHO” after the name of the newsletter it published since 1986. You can simply replace the name “Association des Dames Arméniennes” by ARTZAKANK-ECHO. I thank you in advance and send you my best regards.
    Maral Simsar
    Editor of Artzakank

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