September 6, 2021 - 13:01 AMT
Armenian church in Turkey holds annual Mass

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross, a 1,100-year-old Armenian church in Turkey’s Van province, hosted its ninth Mass on Sunday, September 5 since reopening in 2010, Hurriyet reports.

A limited number of people were taken to the island by boat to attend the ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic.

High Priest Tatul Anuşyan, secretary-general of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey and speaker of the Spiritual Committee, came to the island along with his clergy to conduct the ceremony in the church.

Van Governor Mehmet Emin Bilmez and other officials also attended the mass.

Aghtamar Church, a medieval Armenian place of worship, was built between 915 and 921 by King Gagik I. The church was abandoned during the Armenian Genocide when the locals were either murdered or exiled.