On Sunday, December 25, a 19th-century Armenian church was re-consecrated in Georgia’s Akhaltsikhe region. Bishop Vasken Mirzakhanian, the Primate of the Armenian Church of Georgia, officiated at the service.

According to an inscription on the church wall, the building was constructed between 1861 and 1863. It was named Holy Cross Church, and dedicated in memory of the martyrs of the 5th-century Battle of Avarayr. The church served the local Armenian community until the Soviet period, when it was converted to a warehouse.

In 1993 local Armenians began efforts to restore the house of worship. By 1995 the church was opened, but due to friction with the Georgian government, it was not until this year that Holy Cross Church was officially re-consecrated by an Armenian priest. Prior to this month’s consecration, another series of renovations were completed.

A madagh blessing and celebratory gathering were held following services on December 25.