Dozens of parishioners demonstrated outside St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church in the rain Sunday to express their anger over the transfer of a popular reverend who was forced to leave the country because his visa expired.
His supporters said church officials did not work to extend Fr. Rev. Barthev Gulumian’s visa because of internal politics, sparking a campaign on social media against the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Gulumian was removed from his Glendale post, where he has worked for the last six years, and transferred to Venezuela.
“We want to make sure that we do get Rev. Barthev back,” said 27-year-old Liliya Chobanian of Pasadena.
In referring to the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church, she said, “We know that they don’t want him here.”