The Armenian Evangelical Church of Cyprus, Interview with Luther & Ruth Nassanian

Interview with Mr. Luther Nassanian about the Armenian Evangelical Church of Cyprus.

  • Can you give our readers a brief history about the Armenian Evangelical Church and community in Cyprus?
The first Arm. Evangelical Church started in Nicosia in 1946. Until then the Armenian believers were worshiping the Lord along with others in the Presbyterian church. But for some reasons they wanted to have their own place so they started to gather by themselves, first in the premises of the American academy, and later they built their own Church building. Rev Aghbabaian, Mr.Kassouni and Rev. Dermugurditchian were some, who led and preached and took care of this new Church. Later in the fifty's, they also started to gather in Larnaca too. Rev Sagherian, Mr. Mihran Jismedjian, Mr. Levon Yergatian, and Mr. Aram Sarkissian were some who led the flock and nurtured them. After the Turkish invasion, as many left the island, the Church building was also in the occupied area, so the rest of the Armenian believers joined other Churches. In 2002, with the encouragement of Mrs. Nvart kassouni and Lydia Gulesserian, we restarted to gather as Armenian evangelicals [inviting all the Armenians] to gather in the Larnaca Evangelical Greek Church, once every month.
Since 2005, after Hrayr Jebedjian moved to Cyprus, Nicosia, we started having these monthly gatherings in the Nicosia Evangelical Church.
We try to reach the whole community, so the meetings are announced from the Armenian radio hour, and also in the Gibrahayer [Armenian magazine].
We have had quite a good number of people from the different backgrounds come and hear God's Word and the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
  • Are there any Armenian Evangelical Churches on the Greek side? If no, where do you meet?
We do not have an Armenian Evangelical Church building, but the Greek Evangelicals gladly let us use their premises both in Nicosia and Laranca.
  • What are the issues that the Armenian community in general and the Armenian Evangelical community in particular face in Cyprus?
The Armenian community here is self sufficient and complacent. Most of them are financially in a good position. We pray that God will work in their hearts and create the hunger for Himself. Please pray that, they will respond to the call when we invite them, and after they come, to respond to the call of Jesus. Those who have come always appreciate the ministry. The Armenian Evangelicals: Most of them are members of other [English speaking, or Greek] churches. So, some find it hard to commit themselves to this new Armenian church gatherings. A special prayer request: Soon, in October, we will have pastor Krikor Aghabaloghlu visit us and preach in all three cities [we will use the Anglican Church premises in Limassol]. We are inviting all Armenians to come and hear God's Word through his servant. Note: Rev. Krikor AghabalOghlu arrived in Cyprus, preached and met the Armenian community, in October.
  • Are there any Armenian (Orthodox, Catholic, Evangelical) churches on the Turkish side? If yes, what is their condition?
There is one Arm. Orthodox and one Arm. Evangelical Church on the Northern [Turkish] side of Cyprus. They both are in a poor condition. We also have the Magara Vank, which is destroyed [almost completely]. There is no Armenian catholic church on the island.
  • What would you like to say to the Armenian youth in Lebanon?
As for the youth in Lebanon, we do pray for you, as we know you are living in difficult circumstances. God give you peace in your heart, and use the opportunities to reach out to people who still are living without the Hope you have in Christ. You have great potentials and opportunities, use it to the utmost to spread the Kingdom of God. Keep the unity in Spirit amongst yourself, and love one another, so that people around you will know that your are the disciples of Jesus.

In His love,
Luther and Ruth Nassanian

* The pictures of the Armenia Evangelical Church in North Cyprus are provided by Hrayr Jebejian. You can see that the church building is being used for sewing purposes.