Surp Karapet Armenian Church
The Armenian Church of Surp Karapet was established in 1957 in Abadan, under the reign of Pahlavi. This Gregorian church was once close to two protestant churches, Christopher Church, established in 1928, and Assyrian church, established in 1951, none of which is today remained. They constituted together triple churches of Abadan.
Approximately 2000 Christian families lived in Abadan in 1977 who came to the church in order to hold their religious ceremonies. About half of this building was destroyed during the Iran-Iraq war. Although most Armenian and Christians had left the city because of the war, the building was later reconstructed and reopened in the presence of the Archbishop of the Armenians of the south of Iran and Isfahan, Korioun Papian. Surp Karapet Church was inscribed as an Iranian National Heritages in 2004.
The church has white walls and four brown wooden doors with two relief cross on each one. The church has two domes made of Aluminum; the larger dome is placed on the central structure of the church and the smaller dome is on the posterior part of the church, in front of Miansara.
Close to the southern gate of the church, there is epigraphy along with the painting of an Armenian mother and her killed child that is the reminiscence of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. A sentence on the painting says: “everywhere we are … we will not forget you”.
The rectangular hall of the church is decorated in columns, chandeliers, navy blue and red curtains, wooden benches, picture frames and wall carpets with Christian motifs.
The hall has fourteen semicircular windows held by external cross fences. The hall also includes the part of candle-lit, Meron cup, the holy oil of Armenia’s Etchmiadzin Cathedral and a notebook. The alter is semicircular with four columns built about seven stairs upper than the ground level. A large tableau of Jesus Christ is placed between two columns of the altar around which there are two golden candlesticks. There are two wooden doors on two sides of the altar for the priest and the choir group.
The treasurer of Surp Karapet Church is Sufi Karvazian, of the old and famous families of Manukian. Today the church, which is also called SurQarapet, is one of the main historic and urban symbols of the city and also one of the urban attractions of Abadan.
You can find the Armenian Church of Surp Karapet in Zand street, next to Behbahaniha Mosque, in the corner of the previous National School of Adab and the current Damavand school of art.