In Memoriam: Nshan Topouzian, the bishop of Aderbadagan

by OCP on April 30, 2010

in News

BISHOP NSHAN TOPOUZIAN (1966-2010) Prelate of the Armenian Diocese of Aderbadagan (Iran)


29/4/2010

Memory Eternal!!!

Armenian Church – Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia

New York – His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, His Eminence Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern United States, and the Cilician Brotherhood announce with immense sorrow the untimely passing of the Prelate of the Diocese of Aderbadagan, Bishop Nshan Topouzian, which took place on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, in Armenia following a brief illness. The Extreme Unction and burial services will take place in Tabriz, Iran.

By the order of the Prelate, Archbishop Oshagan, Requiem Services for the soul of the late Bishop will take place in all Eastern Prelacy churches on Sunday, May 2. May his memory be forever blessed.

Bishop Nshan Topouzian, (baptismal name Ara), was born in 1966 in Lebanon. In 1984, after completing the five-level Jarankavorats (high school) program at the Seminary of the Holy See of Cilicia, he was ordained a deacon. During the next three years he completed the Seminary’s Undzayaran (college) program, and in 1987 he was ordained a celibate priest and renamed Nshan by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, of blessed memory.

In February 1991 he was assigned to Tabriz, Iran, as a visiting priest to the Aderbadagan Diocese. In May of the same year, His Holiness Karekin II appointed him Pontifical Legate of that Diocese. After serving for nearly 11 years, in August 2002 he was elected Prelate of the Aderbadagan Diocese. On June 4, 2006, he was elevated to the rank of Bishop by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

Bishop Nshan’s 15-year service to the Aderbadagan Diocese was very productive. With his leadership and effort by the National Representative Assembly and the diocesan council, Tabriz’s four churches and prelacy were totally renovated, the Nareg residences in Tabriz were built, the Ararat Cultural Center was established, and a new church was built in Urmia.

Bishop Nshan played a major role in the renovation and preservation of historical churches and monasteries in Northern Iran, namely St. Tadeh and St. Stepanos Monasteries and the Church at Jorjor.

Under great personal danger several different times he photographed, along the banks of the Arax River, the destruction of thousands of khatchkars in the Armenian cemetery in Old Julfa in Nakhichevan by the Azerbaijan army. Thanks to the photographs he took, the Armenian people and international governments and agencies were made aware of the destruction taking place.

Bishop Nshan who was fluent in Persian and Azeri-Turkish was able to establish good relations with officials in Northern Iran and defend the rights of the Armenian Church and people within the historical Aderbadagan boundaries.

His death is a great loss to the Great House of Cilicia, the Aderbadagan Diocese, and for the entire Armenian church and nation.

Biography

BISHOP NSHAN TOPOUZIAN

Bishop Nshan Topouzian, (baptismal name Ara), was born in 1966 in Lebanon. In 1984, after completing the five-level Jarankavorats (high school) program at the Seminary of the Holy See of Cilicia, he was ordained a deacon. During the next three years he completed the Seminary’s Undzayaran (college) program, and in 1987 he was ordained a celibate priest and renamed Nshan by His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, of blessed memory.

In February 1991 he was assigned to Tabriz, Iran, as a visiting priest to the Aderbadagan Diocese. In May of the same year, His Holiness Karekin II appointed him Pontifical Legate of that Diocese. After serving for nearly 11 years, in August 2002 he was elected Prelate of the Aderbadagan Diocese. On June 4, 2006, he was elevated to the rank of Bishop by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

Bishop Nshan’s 15-year service to the Aderbadagan Diocese was very productive. With his leadership and effort by the National Representative Assembly and the diocesan council, Tabriz’s four churches and prelacy were totally renovated, the Nareg residences in Tabriz were built, the Ararat Cultural Center was established, and a new church was built in Urmia.

Bishop Nshan played a major role in the renovation and preservation of historical churches and monasteries in Northern Iran, namely St. Tadeh and St. Stepanos Monasteries and the Church at Jorjor.

Bishop Nshan was fluent in Persian and Azeri-Turkish.

His death is a great loss to the Great House of Cilicia, the Aderbadagan Diocese, and for the entire Armenian church and nation.

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