Rafael Grigoryan was born in 1951 in Vanadzor, the third biggest city in Armenia. At the age of 14, he joined the Physics and Mathematics department at Yerevan State University. When he was 16 years old, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and had the privilege to be a part of a revival, which started among his peers. More than fifty young men at the college gave their lives to Jesus.
The Communist secret services (KGB) prosecuted him for his faith for a long time. They forbade him to continue his studies at Yerevan, so he had to move to his hometown where he began studying at the State Polytechnic University. Meanwhile he was actively involved in the formation and spread of Armenian Evangelical churches in Vanadzor and other cities. After University, he started to work at the local research Institute and at this time, he was ordained as a pastor.
During his work at the Research Institute, he published 17 scientific papers in Moscow, Europe and in Yerevan.
The Communist secret services constantly threatened him, spreading false information and writing articles in the local newspapers to discredit his reputation. During these difficult years, God showed His mercy and love and gave him strength to continue doing His work. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Armenia became an independent country, the attitude of the government towards his church fundamentally changed, especially after 25,000 people were killed in the 1988 earthquake. With the initiation and support of friends abroad, God led them to found a charity organization called “Love Armenia”. They chose Rafael Grigoryan as the president of the organization. Within the charity organization “Love Armenia”, Rafael and his colleagues were able to reach out more than 40,000 families providing humanitarian aid. Of these families, 9,000 were from Vanadzor, 15,000 were from the second largest city of Armenia, which was the most damaged, with the remaining families in other regions of the country. Five years later the organization closed, and they chose Rafael to be on city council for the next five years. Currently Rafael serves as a senior pastor of Evangelical Faith Church Family and he is a Doctor of Theology.
Why is Armenian Patriots-Family Fund important to you?
“As a pastor, a former member of the city council, as well as a former researcher, I am deeply convinced that humanitarian aid has always accompanied the human history; it is the highest standard of morality.
Today, when there are thousands of war victims in Armenia, we consider it our duty to call on all the benefactors of the world to support those families as much as possible.
According to unofficial data, forty thousand people died because of the earthquake that happened in Armenia in 1988, and according to official data, twenty-five thousand. At that time, we worked hard to help the affected families to repair their houses and to restore their lives in their cities and villages.
Now, after the Karabakh war, thousands of homes, infrastructures, sources of supply, and roads have been bombed. After the reconciliation agreement, there is a deep need to open a charity organization to aid families of those who were wounded or died in the war.”