The Mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church is to preach the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to proclaim its message of Salvation. This mission is realized through worship, education, witness, service, and a common life in Jesus Christ as expressed in the distinctive faith – experience of the Armenian people. All members of the Armenian Church (both clergy and lay) are called to participate fully in its mission.
One of the most crucial events in Armenian history was the conversion to Christianity. By adopting the new religion, Armenia established a distinct Christian character of its own and, at times, became identified with the Western world. King Tiridates III (Trdat), having been converted by Gregory the Illuminator, proclaimed Christianity as the religion of the state in 301 A.D. Thus, Armenia became the first nation to embrace Christianity officially. This was 12 years before the Emperor Constantine’s Edict of Milan which declared tolerance of Christians in the Roman Empire. Gregory the Illuminator, later canonized, was elected Catholicos of the new Armenian national Church, the first in a long line of such clergy to be elected supreme head of the Armenian Church.