JERUSALEM: The Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem, Torkom Manoogian, was buried on Monday in a funeral attended by representatives of all the Christian Churches of the Holy Land.
A respected figure among local Christians, Manoogian died on October 12 aged 93 after being in a coma since January following a stroke. He headed the Armenian Orthodox communities in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.
He was buried in the Armenian cemetery on Mount Zion, after a five-hour ceremony attended by diplomats, Israeli and Palestinian officials and leaders of religious communities, including Muslims.
The funeral cortege included local boy scouts, Armenian seminary students and guards in the livery of Janissaries, the soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, an AFP photographer said.
Manoogian was born on February 16, 1919 in a refugee camp for survivors of the Armenian genocide, located near Baquba in the Iraqi desert.
He studied theology at the seminary of the Armenian patriarchate of Saint-Jacques in Jerusalem, and was ordained in 1939.
In 1946, he was transferred to the United States, where he served as New York's Armenian bishop and then primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America. He was elected 96th Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1990.
His successor will be elected at the end of the 40-day mourning period and must then be approved by Israel and King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Archbishop Aris Shirvanian has been named as temporary replacement.
The Armenian Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, a monastic order, is one of the custodians of the Christian Holy Places, along with the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches as well as the smaller Syriac and Coptic churches.
There are currently an estimated 2,000 Armenians living in Jerusalem, compared with 16,000 in 1948 when the state of Israel was founded.