Armenians in Denmark

The Armenian community in Denmark numbers approximately 1,200. They make up the population of refugees from Armenia, and also some from Iran and Iraq. They mainly used the churches in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense. The Armenian refugees were served in the church with a priest from the Armenian community in Sweden. In 2003, an agreement was signed between the Danish and Armenian governments, allowing forced repatriation of illegal immigrants. 100 Armenians living illegally in Denmark were reported to be subject to the measure.

In 2005, The Danish Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs recognized the Armenian Apostolic Church in Denmark as a congregation with juridical rights to administer marriage ceremonies and with certain privileges in regards to taxation.

Danish missionaries have been friends to Armenians and helped during the Armenian genocide. Missionaries like Karen Jeppe and Maria Jacobsen are known in Armenian communities as heroines who took care of the orphans, especially. As missionaries in Armenia was thrown out, the Danish continued to provide relief until the 1970s in Lebanon, working at the “Bird’s Nest” orphanage, as well as in a refugee camps in Greece. Karekin Dikran, who owns a graphic design company today, was one of the children growing up in this orphanage.

Mercantile relations between Armenia and Denmark date back to 1568, when Armenian traveler and writer Pirzade Ghap’anets’i visited Denmark. During the Hamidian massacres against the Armenian civilians, the government of Denmark condemned the massacres, and sharply protested against the Ottoman Empire. The famous Danish scholar and critic Georg Brandes commented on the massacres and wrote a book about the Armenians in 1903.Immigration to Denmark mostly began in the 1960s, and in 1985 a wave of refugees came from Iran and Iraq, driven out by the war. The mid 1990s also brought an influx due to the war and hard times in Armenia.

Armenia has an embassy inCopenhagen, and Denmark is represented in Armenia, through its embassy in Kiev, Ukraine. Diplomatic relations were established on 14 January 1992. The current Armenian Ambassador to Denmark is Hrachia Aghajanian. In 2008, the Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandyan called the relations between Armenia and Denmark “friendly” and “highly appreciating”.

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2 thoughts on “Armenians in Denmark”

  1. Is it possible to get in touch with any relative of the famous missionary Maria Jacobsen?
    What existing church or organization or mission is related to her?
    Does any of the above exist in her birthplace of Siim, Dover Denmark?
    Many thanks. Vahe

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