First Armenian Baptism in China

The first Armenian baptism in China in many years

SHENZHEN, China—With the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, the Armenian Community of China celebrated its first Armenian baptism on Chinese soil in recent history on July 9.

Rev. Father Khoren Hovhannisyan, Pastor of Armenians in India flew to China to celebrate this historical event. The historical baptism was held in Shenzhen, in Southern China, with about 40 guests, mostly other Armenians living in the Greater China region.

The baptism was that of Enza and Aaron Sert, children of Harutyun and Liza Sert, a young and successful Armenian couple from France, who moved to China in the last decade and who now own several factories employing hundreds of workers making high end jewelry for European clients. As there are currently no Armenian Churches in China, the Sert family had beautifully transformed their house into an Armenian Church for the occasion.

While relatively unknown to the rest of the Armenian Diaspora, the Armenian community of China, commonly known as ChinaHay, has grown in numbers in recent years with about 200 Armenians now living, working or studying in China, mostly in the coastal cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Over the years, Armenians have gone to China to take advantage of the numerous economic opportunities from all the corners of the globe including France, Australia, Canada, Argentina, U.S., England, Russia, Lebanon, Syria and, of course, Armenia.

These individuals are involved in a broad range of professions from jewelers and traders to fashion designers and lawyers. The ChinaHay community regularly gets together in various parts of China and is expected to grow substantially in the coming years due to China’s economic expansion. Anyone interested to learn more about the Armenian community of China is encouraged to visit their website www.chinahay.com or their Facebook ChinaHay group

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8 Comments

  1. Antranig Bedrossian said:

    If this a joy from Armenian baptism point of view, from another point of view, it has another aspect. An Armenian from France, owning and operating factories in China, where hundreds of Chinese are working, means in practical terms: to exploit the cheap labour of China and most problably under bad working conditions, with no social protection, like slaves. Therefore, he is an Armenian in the service of the world capitalism to exploit people for profit. This is not something to be proud for. It is a disgrace.

    • zohrab balian said:

      hey Antranig and Hratch listen to what Satenig is saying. Don’t rush into a quick decision. Both of you sound a bit jealous can you do any better??? I have seen these Armenian bosses treat their Chinese employees very respectfully. i don’t think we are in a sorry state maybe you are hratch…are you. if we want to create possibilities in our own country Armenia then the Armenians in Armenia should create better possibilities and environment and make it attractive for the outside Armenians to go and be part of the country Hayrenic. Remember, we need a very strong and powerful Diaspora (spuerk). Vaz anstek ays haygagan Nakhanstoutenen yev urakhastek urakh lourerev vor haygagan e. Hokinit togh AZNIV ella kitch me.

      Angeghzoren stezi Zohrab yev Zohrab

  2. Ed said:

    the best would be to baptism 100 mil. Chinese people to become “Chinese Armenians” :)

  3. Hratch said:

    What is there to be proud of when an Armenian is baptized in China? Why should they be baptized in a foreign land anyway? It is a shame that Armenians must live on foreign lands to find economical opportunities. This story should be more about the reasons behind the sorry state we find ourselves in after almost 20 years of independence.

  4. Satenik said:

    Let’s celebrate the birth of an Armenian child. It does not matter where this child was born or baptised. Yes, in an ideal world we all want our children to be born in the lands of our forefathers but it’s also important that this child is brought up with the spirit of a true Armenian. Let’s face it, how many brilliant Armenians were born outside our beloved Armenia and they have brought nothing but pride and joy to the Armenians worldwide.
    I have a Chinese friend who tells me that she knows Armenians have been living in China for hundreds of years and the Chinese have a great deal of respect for them. Let’s not forget that we still have “Armenian Street” in Singapour which has survived through all the odds.
    I also hope that the Armenians who employ the Chinese workers deal with them in a much better way than many others and who knows maybe the Chinese workers are a lot happier with the Armenian employers who knows, let’s not jump into conclusions as we do not have all the facts but we have one fact for sure: An Armenian baby is born so let’s celebrate the arrival of this new comer!

  5. ZHIRAJR MOKINI said:

    LET’S CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF AN ARMENIAN CHILD AND THE BAPTISM OF AN ARMENIAN CHRISTIAN.
    CONGRATULATIONS TO THE PARENTS FOR PRESERVING THEIR CULTURE AND FAITH IN SUCH DIFFICULT CONDITIONS AS IN CHINA WHERE CHRISTIANS ARE PERSECUTED.
    THE STORY HAS SHOWN THAT ARMENIAN ARE CAPABLE TO BE THEMSELVES EVERYWHERE THEY ARE FOUND IN THE WORLD.

  6. Helen Galadjian said:

    Criticism seems to come easy for some. Are they doing anything about creating the ideal world they see in their minds? Probably not. Having the strength to maintain your heritage and beliefs and doing something out of the box needs to be congratulated and appreciated not criticized. Congratulations to all of us, we have 2 more Christian Armenians that joined us in this world.

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