The Armenian Church (also known as Armenian Apostolic Church of the Holy Resurrection) is a historically significant architectural monument situated in the Armanitola area of old Dhaka, Bangladesh. The church bears testimony to the existence of a significant Armenian community in the region in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Following the domination of their homeland by Persian powers of the time, Armenians were sent by their new rulers to the Bengal region for both political and economic reasons. Although the Armenian presence in South Asia is now insignificant, their presence in Dhaka dates back to the 17th century.
Armenians came to Dhaka for business, and have been acknowledged[according to whom?] for displaying a passion for trade comparable to that of the Bengalis of the time. In Dhaka, Armenian merchants traded in jute and leather, and profitability in these businesses convinced some to move permanently to Bangladesh.The area where they lived became known as Armanitola.
In 1781 the now famous Armenian Church was built on Armenian Street in Armanitola, then a thriving business district. The site was an Armenian graveyard before the church was built, and the tombstones that have survived serve as a chronicle of Armenian life in the area. Agaminus Catachik, an Armenian, gave away the land to build the church. Michel Cerkess, Okotavata Setoor Sevorg, Aga Amnius, and Merkers Poges helped build the church.
In the fifty years following the church’s construction, a clock tower was erected on its western side. Allegedly, the clock could be heard four miles away, and people sychronised their watches with the sound of the tower’s bell. The clock stopped in 1880, and an earthquake destroyed the tower in 1897.