Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakir to reopen on May 8

After seven years, the bell will ring again at Surp Giragos, the largest Armenian Church in the Middle East, in Diyarbakır. With restoration works now complete, the church will reopen its doors to worshippers in May, Daily Sabah reports.

The restoration of the Armenian Surp Giragos Church in the Sur district of Diyarbakır has been completed. The first service will be held at the church on May 8 with the participation of the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey Sahak Mashalyan. The church’s foundation also submitted a request to the government to appoint a permanent clergyman to the church.

The interior and exterior restoration of the church, right behind the four minarets have been restored to its original state.

The 600-year-old church was abandoned to its fate in the early 1990s. In 2008, the decision was made to restore the church, which was by then riddled with holes made by thieves hunting for gold.

The church’s restoration was launched through a project carried out by the Armenian Foundation and the Metropolitan Municipality. It was restored over three years and opened its doors to the Armenian community from all over the world in 2011. However, the chiming stopped again after four years.

Surp Giragos Church was heavily damaged again in 2015 as a result of clashed between Kurds and the Turkish army.

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