Armenians Celebrate First Baptisms at Aghtamar Since 1915


Article from Armenian Weekly – by Matthew Karanian 

For the first time since 1915, the Armenian Church performed the rite of baptism at the Church of the Holy Cross (Sourp Khatch) on Aghtamar Island in Lake Van.

Two adults and three youths, including a boy from Armenia named Van and three Armenians from the town of Van, were baptized. The identity of the fifth person to be baptized wasn’t immediately clear. She had made her way to the altar during the ceremony and announced that she wished to be baptized. The church honored her impromptu request.

The five baptisms were conducted on Sept. 8 at the conclusion of a church service—itself a rare event at Aghtamar—that had drawn more than 1,000 visitors from around the world. The Divine Liturgy, which Armenians refer to as the Badarak, has been performed only once each year at Aghtamar since 2010, after a genocide-induced…

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