TEHRAN (Reuters)–Iran has applied for UNESCO to recognize Ghara Kelisa–or the Black Church–as a United Nations World Heritage site, to join the Persepolis and other archaeological treasures in its territory, Reuters news agency reported.
"This is a symbol of the co-existence of different religions and ethnicities," senior conservationist Khosro Farri of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization is quoted by the agency as saying.
Located in tawny hills, close to the border with Turkey and Armenia, the Black Church derives its name from the volcanic stone used to build it in the early 14th century after an older one was destroyed by an earthquake.
Thousands of Armenia’s from around the world flock there every summer for festivities to commemorate their patron saint, known as Thaddeus.
Armenia’s in Iran have two seats assigned to them in the 290-seat parliament and can educate their children in the Armenian language. They can even make and drink alcohol at home — a practice banned for Muslims.