Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan (baptismal name Gurgen) was born in the city of Sumgait, Soviet Azerbaijan, where he received his primary education. He hails from an Armenian family with roots in Northern Artsakh’s renowned town of Chardakhly.
In 1971, he graduated from a Yerevan mathematical school and from 1971-1976 he studied at the Yerevan Polytechnic University and the Brusov Institute of Foreign Languages. In 1980, he was admitted to the Gevorkian Theological Seminary at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1983, and graduated from the Seminary in 1984.
Following his graduation from the Seminary, he was appointed to serve in the Alex and Marie Manoogian Treasury House of the Mother See. In 1985, he was ordained as a celibate priest by and given the priestly name of Pargev. He left Armenia in that same year, and was sent to study at the Leningrad Theological Academy, in continuing his education.
He returned to Armenia in 1986, and received the rank of Archimandrite (Vardapet). He was assigned to serve as the chief professor at the Gevorkian Theological Seminary. In 1987, Father Pargev was awarded his doctoral degree in theology from the Leningrad Theological Academy. That same year, he was assigned to serve as the abbot of the St. Hripsimeh Armenian Church in Vagharshapat.
In November 1988, Father Pargev was consecrated as a Bishop by the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Vazken I, of Blessed Memory. He was sent to serve in the Diocese of Artsakh in 1989 as the Primate. In June of 1999, Bishop Pargev was elevated to the rank of Archbishop by the Pontifical Encyclical of the Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Karekin I, of Blessed Memory.
Archbishop Pargev is the author of three books and numerous articles. He is well known to international human rights activists. One of them is the Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury, a cross-bench member of the British House of Lords, and a world-renowned campaigner for many global humanitarian causes. Caroline Cox has been a champion of Nagorno Karabakh’s quest for freedom, independence and Christian revival, beginning from 1991.
Archbishop Pargev currently serves as the Primate of the Diocese of Artsakh.