Most citizens belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, one of the six ancient Oriental Orthodox Churches and Armenia's national church.
Fr. Raphael emphasized that Caritas Armenia cares for orphans, refugees, and ill people with the help of benefactors from around the world.
He noted that the group For the Martyrs, led by Gia Chacón, recently visited the country to deliver gifts to displaced children as part of its Operation Christmas for Armenia initiative.
He said that Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), as well as Aid to the Church in Need, were also making significant contributions.
But besides these organizations which have a long-term commitment to the country, the archbishop said there were others that would not remain in Armenia for long.
"At this moment, to tell you the truth, there are so many people coming from all over the world to help. They want to give it [aid] and then, after a few months, they want to leave. But the poor will remain poor," he said.
He urged potential U.S. donors to support the work of CRS and the USCCB in Armenia.
"Through them, we can take care of the people with certain projects that could be very useful for them. Because I am not from that character to feed the people and then the second day they are still hungry," he said.
"What I'm trying to do is to find certain ways of helping the people to become self-sufficient."
Fr. Raphael said he hoped that those who achieved self-sufficiency would in turn support those who are less privileged, creating a virtuous cycle.
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He added that Armenians were often reluctant to receive aid because they have a proud tradition of supporting themselves through entrepreneurship amid the upheavals of Armenian history.
Fr. Raphael was born to an Armenian family in Lebanon on Oct. 24, 1946. He was ordained in 1973 in Beirut as a priest of the Patriarchal Congregation of Bzommar, an Armenian Catholic religious congregation of priests founded in 1750.
From 1990 to 2006, he served as a pastor in California, where he helped to create a foundation supporting humanitarian projects in Armenia. He also initiated the construction of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Catholic Church in Glendale.
In 2005, he was appointed leader of the Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate of Jerusalem and Amman. His dynamism was evident there too. In 2009, he established perpetual Eucharistic adoration at the church marking the Fourth Station of the Way of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem.
When Fr. Raphael was appointed to his present role as bishop of Armenian Catholics in Eastern Europe nine years ago, he decided to prioritize the Catholic Church's social and spiritual mission.