Qara Kelisa or St. Thaddeus Complex in Chaldoran, northwest of Iran, hosted the annual religious ceremony of Armenians known as Badarak.
Thousands of Armenians from Iran and other nations including Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Germany and Canada took part in the three-day event, which was started on July 14.
During the ceremony, the worshippers perform religious practices, including sacrificing sheep, lighting candles, baptism of infants, etc.
Each year, Qara Kelisa honours the memory of St. Thaddeus and his faithful followers.
Scores of Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics from Iran and other countries attend the annual event as part of their pilgrimage on the Day.
The ceremony is known as one of the largest religious ceremonies held by Armenians.
Qara Kelisa, also known as the St. Thaddeus Church, is one of the oldest and most notable surviving Christian monuments of Iran that has great significance for the country’s Armenian Orthodox community.
Armenians believe that Qara Kelisa is the world’s first church constructed in 68 CE by one of the apostles of Jesus, St. Thaddeus. According to Armenians, he had travelled to Armenia, then part of the Persian Empire, to preach the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Photos from the recent ceremony are published by IRNA: