Category Archives: Middle East

On the Occasion of the 174th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church – Church Anniversary Reflections

By Rev. Dr. Krikor Youmshajekian, AMA-Australia President/CEO

July 1 marks the 174th anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Church. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebrations will be limited and it will be only organised by local churches around the world, whether virtual or small gatherings due to social distancing. Unfortunately, there will be no worldwide celebrations, where evangelical lay and clergy leaders, with many members of the evangelical community from around the world come together in one place for worship and praise.

Armenian Evangelical Holy Trinity Church, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Est. July 1, 1846

However, regardless of the situation, Armenian Evangelicals around the world should be reminded that 174 years ago a group of dedicated believers came together in Istanbul, Turkey to lay down the foundations of the vibrant Church of the current times. With the dedication of committed members, the Armenian Evangelical Church has embarked and continue to be a missional church, emphasising the importance of the community being engaged in mission and treasuring the Protestant notion of “the priesthood of all believers.” The Armenian Evangelical Church also insists on the active participation of the whole church in ecclesiastical affairs and religious life. As a consequence, neither in worship nor in Christian service in the community is the individual believer reduced to the status of an observer. Rather, the individual assumes a central, leading role in the religious life of the church, achieving personal fulfilment as an active participant.

The Armenian Evangelical Church understands the mission of the church as fundamental and believes that the ministry is the work of the entire church. God’s call is to all people. The mission of the church belongs to the whole people (laos) of God. Moreover, the task of witness is that of the whole community of God’s people. In the church, there are many different gifts and many different stages of maturity, but the work to which the church is called requires the witness of every member in the place where he/she lives and works, engaging in “total ministry.” This is a vision of the ministry of the whole people of God (the church) in which ministries of all members integrate with one another and in which leadership is a function of the whole body. From the human point of view, the power and effectiveness of the church lies in the dedication, leadership, and involvement of its people. There is one ministry in Jesus Christ, and all the members, lay and ordained, participate in it according to the gifts given to them. This represents the body, the church, as a ministering community.

The Armenian Evangelical Church became a mission-minded church, valuing evangelism highly and regarded evangelists as having a special calling within the life of the church. It is a fact, that the church did not always succeed to be the “mission church,” but it is also an unquestionable fact that it tried to impress upon its members that the divine calling of every believer is to serve God through daily work, be it secular or ecclesiastical. The Armenian Evangelical Church held the view that, as a community of believers, it had an obligation to work in its respective communities for the creation of a caring and loving society.

Hence, the Armenian Evangelical Church since its establishment in 1846 has been a missionary church and as a result, founded the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA) in Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) in 1918. Since then, the AMAA with its District Bodies in Canada and Australia, along with the different Evangelical Unions, has worked hard and served as the missionary arm of the church, spreading the Good News and extending a helping hand to our brothers and sisters around the world and in particular, in Armenia, Artsakh, Lebanon and Syria.

What the Armenian Evangelical Church and the AMAA have achieved during the years, is the result of faith, commitment and the hard work of dedicated faithful servants of God. Today, we salute them all and pay our respect to the Armenian Evangelical Church, and we believe that the church will maintain its mission and strive for excellence in its outreach, obeying the great command of the Lord Jesus Christ, to go and proclaim the gospel.

The legacy of the early reformers for us today and the upcoming generations of Armenian Evangelicals, is to be proud of our Armenian heritage, because we can build upon past values and learn from them. It is this heritage that binds Armenians together, because the deep roots of their Armenian heritage have withstood dislocation, persecution and oppression.

Congratulations to the Armenian Evangelical Church. Congratulations to its dedicated leaders, missionaries and supporters of the mission. God bless!

Featured Image: The First Armenian Evangelical Church Council July 1, 1846
2020-7-1 Հայաց. Աւետարանական Եկեղեցւոյ 174-Ամեակ

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia Fundraising Surpasses $2,000,000


The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia, run by all volunteers, has reached an important milestone through its fundraising efforts. Since its inception, the AMA-Australia, have raised over $2,000,000. Securing two Endowment Funds for education, the Anthony Rozanski ($500,000) and the Barkev Ishkhanian Fund ($50,000). The income from the funds is used to support students in Lebanon.

With the efforts of the founding board members and consequently with the members who have served over three year terms, with the leadership of its President and CEO, the annual turnover in 2001 financial year of $12,000, by God’s grace surpassed $2,000,000 in June 2020.

The Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) a registered Incorporation in Australia and acting as a charity, pursues the same aims as the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMA America), which is to extend a helping hand to our Armenian brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh and the Middle East, struggling and facing a hard time to make ends meet.

In 2021 we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of AMA-Australia.

Since the launch in 2001 the AMA-Australia has embarked on journey of mission and adopted many projects and organised fundraisers to support the needy. The programs have included social and cultural initiatives. The main projects of the Association since its formation are the Child Scholarship Program to needy children in Armenia, Education Sponsorship Program for needy students in Lebanon and Syria, Relief aid to Armenia and in the last few years especially for Syria. We also have a sponsorship program for children in Armenia and students in Lebanon and distribution of Christian literature, such as 400 copies of Our Daily bread and the AMAA Newsletter, in Australia and New Zealand.

AMA-Australia does not have paid staff, buildings, offices or even a business phone. All the work is done via emails and correspondence. The AMA-Australia Website and Facebook are active. You can follow our programs, activities and news by visiting our website and following us on Facebook.

We need your help!

Our aim is to let as many people know the works of this organisation, and help fundraising efforts to fuel projects in 2020 & 2021, ESPECIALLY in these tough times for our Armenian brothers and sisters in Armenia, Artsakh and the Middle East.

Without your donations and support we would not have been able to raise the much-needed funds to pursue our goals for the glory of God.

Please continue to support us, if you have already done so, or join your hands and help us to do better in the coming years.

AMA-Australia Holds Sunday Worship and Fundraising Luncheon

Since its establishment in March 2001, the Armenian Missionary Association of Australia (AMA-Australia) as a sister organization has been actively supporting the missionary work of the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA). Through the tireless efforts of its founding members and those who have joined in subsequent years, the Committee has worked hard to bring awareness to the Armenian community at large, and specifically to the members of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Sydney as well as our friends, the needs of our fellow Armenians in Armenia and in the Middle East.

Over the years, AMA-Australia has organized programs and various fundraising cultural and social functions, allocating all the funds raised to provide for the needs of our brothers and sisters in Armenia and for the last few years in Syria and Lebanon. AMA-Australia also continues its sponsorship programs with 42 children being sponsored in Armenia and 24 students in Lebanon and Syria through the AMAA’s Sponsorship Program.

As in previous years, this year on March 15 AMAA Sunday was observed in the Armenian Evangelical Church of Sydney, followed by a Luncheon in St. Andrew’s Uniting Church’s War Memorial Hall, with more than 120 guests. After two consecutive years, funds were raised to support our brothers and sisters in Syria, both in Aleppo and Kessab, raising a total of 55,000 Australia dollars.

We turned our attention this year to the needs of the people living in bordering villages of Armenia, the most dangerous zone of the country. At our fundraising functions we were able to raise enough funds to construct a much needed Playground for the children of Choratan Village School. For this purpose, we invited Lusine Ohanian, External Relations Coordinator of the Armenian Missionary Association in Armenia, who works closely with the bordering villages and is familiar with their urgent needs. With a short film and photos, Lusine presented the much needed support required to help those who live with extremely limited resources. To raise the needed funds, we asked for donations and we are glad that many responded positively. We also had raffles on six paintings and an auction with an Armenian rug which were brought from Armenia for fundraising purposes.

We were also happy to have Louisa Janbazian, AMAA PR/Communications Coordinator from the United States, as our guest of honor. Mrs. Janbazian’s presence and encouraging words gave support to our program and fundraising efforts.

We would like to thank Lusine Ohanian and Louisa Janbazian for their presence and help to raise the necessary funds to complete the Playground Project in Choratan Village.

We hope that the Playground will be ready to be officially opened at the end of September with the support of Harout Nercessian, AMAA’s Representative in Armenia. Some of the AMA-Australia District Committee members are planning to be in Armenia around that time for the official opening. We would like to thank all those who have responded to our request and gave generously for this project.

May the glory be to the Father and His blessing upon us all and upon the missionary work of the AMAA.