(Persia Digest) – The 64th Badrak ceremony has been held in St Thaddeus Monastery, also known as Kara Kilisa, by Armenians in Chaldoran, northwestern Iran. Once again, the sound of freedom of religious minorities resounds from the church bells in Iran.

Around 4700 Iranian followers of the Christian faith and a number of visitors from Norway, France, Armenia, China, and Singapore among others, participated in the annual ceremony held from Thursday to Saturday.

IRNA reports that the priest of Saint John the Baptist Church in Yerevan believes that holding this ceremony freely will help the unity of Christians worldwide. Sarhadian who took part in the Bakrak ceremony with a group of 13 people, said: “Religious minority ceremonies are not held in this manner anywhere in the world, whereas in Iran not only do officials take part in these ceremonies, they also volunteer to renovate these religious buildings.”

A French reporter from La Croix also said: “The building of this monastery is an architectural masterpiece of the Christian world; but sadly, it has remained hidden from sight. Celine Hoyeau who was visiting Kara Kilisa for the second time, added: “Christians perform their ceremonies with great freedom in Iran. I have witnessed this with my presence in Kara Kilisa.”

Read more:

► Thaddeus Monastery Unesco Registration

► Iran 10th on Unesco list

► St Thaddeus Monastery annual ceremony & pilgrimage

Grigor Chifchian, Archbishop of the Armenian Diocese in Azerbaijan, Iran, also believes that religious minorities resident in Iran are able to practice their religion in complete freedom and without restraints.

Persia Digest reports that the Kara Kilisa building in Iran has been registered by Unesco World Heritage. It is located 20kms to the northeast of Chaldoran, where St Thaddeus, an apostle of Christ, is buried. It is known as the first Christian church in the world.

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