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Pope Francis leaves Armenia ending his pastoral visit

Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians visit Khor Virap Monastery at the foot of Ararat and launch doves of peace

Aliyev says Azerbaijani armed forces seized part of Karabakh districts during April aggression

Serzh Sargsyan: Pope Francis' calls for peace and tolerance are a powerful signal for peaceful settlement of regional problems

Serzh Sargsyan: I am sure we will find the best possible option of settlement for Nagorno-Karabakh people

President of Armenia calls on Armenians worldwide to unite to settle the three fundamental issues of the Armenian people

Karekin II and Pope Francis sign Common Declaration: "We express our hope for a peaceful resolution of the issues surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh"

Armenian President: We are grateful to Pope Francis for visiting Armenia and showing warm attitude to Armenian people

Vatican reacts to Turkey’s criticism: “Pope has never been on a Crusade, he tries to build peace rather than to wage war”

Pope Francis: “May the Armenian Church walk in peace and may the communion between us be complete.”

Karekin II: The processes of secularism are intensifying, spiritual and ethical values and views are distorted, and the family structure, established by God, is being shaken

Pontifical Divine Liturgy underway in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin at the St. Trdat Open Air Altar

Ilham Aliyev: Nagorno-Karabakh will never get independence

Karekin II: More practical steps must be taken by Christian churches on the road to searching for peace

Pope to Armenian people: Your sufferings are our own

Pope Francis participates in ecumenical meeting with Patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, in Yerevan

Police make statement over recent detentions in Yerevan

Police confirm reports on detention of activist Shant Haroutiunyan's son

Detentions continue in Yerevan

Pope Francis sends telegram to Turkish president

Pope Francis visits Church visits Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of the Seven Wounds and the Holy Martyrs Armenian Catholic Cathedral in Gyumri.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. says Pope Francis speaks about past tragedies not to inflame wounds, but to help create grounds for reconciliation

Federico Lombardi says Pope Francis enjoyed magnificent view of Biblical Mount Ararat

Pope Francis visits Our Lady of Armenia Catholic Educational Center in Gyumri, Armenia

Pope Francis expresses his gratitude to religious and civil authorities of Armenia

Pope Francis talks to the faithful

Pope Francis delivers a homily in Gyumri

Venice Commission experts make remarks about new proposals on Electoral Code of Armenia

Arsen Khojoyan, who was taken captive in Azerbaijan, kills a 17-year-old girl in Armenia

Pope Francis holding his first Mass in Gyumri, Armenia

OSCE MG urges Azerbaijan and Armenia to remove all remaining obstacles to expanding OSCE CiO Personal Representative's mission

Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians arrive in Gyumri

Pope Francis visits Tsitsernakaberd Memorial dedicated to Armenian Genocide victims

Monument to Grigor Narekatsi to be erected in Vatican, Director of Holy See Press Office Federico Lombardi says

OSCE CiO Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to travel to South Caucasus

President Serzh Sargsyan and His Holiness Pope Francis had private meeting

Pope quotes Charents: Our turquoise sky, our clear waters, the flood of light, the summer sun and the proud winter borealis... our age-old stones ... our ancient etched books which have become a prayer

Charge pressed against commander of serviceman driven to suicide

Souvenir sheet and mini-sheet with four stamps dedicated to visit of Pope Francis to Armenia put into circulation

Zurabishvili: Ankara has always supported Tbilisi's aspirations including integration into NATO

Naira Zohrabyan: It is necessary to suppress Turkish fascism

Nino Burjanadze: It is absolutely unfavorable for Georgia to join NATO now

Situation around Nagorno-Karabakh is rather vulnerable, Ambassador Piotr Switalski says

Pope Francis arrives in Armenia

Central Valley Congressmen urge US to follow Pontiff's lead in reaffirming Armenian Genocide

Electricity price in Armenia to be reduced by 2.58 drams on Aug 1 2016

Eduard Sharmazanov sees generally positive tendency in Karabakh peace process

France-based committee for political prisoners in Armenia addresses Pope Francis over Zhirayr Sefilyan's detention

Vice Speaker of Armenian Parliament says Moscow reacted very strongly to Baku's attempt to distort situation around Karabakh

Senior advisor on Iran at the U.S. State Department says Armenia contributed to Iran's recent nuclear deal with the West

Regional

US Department of State: Media outlets of Armenia published inaccurate articles portraying religious minorities as criminals and spies

  • by Tatevik Shahunyan

  • Wednesday, July 30, 19:26

 "The constitution protects religious freedom; however, some laws and policies restrict religious freedom", says the US State Department's "International Religious Freedom Report for 2013. Armenia". 

According to the document, there were reports of obstacles faced by religious organizations in building places of worship and discrimination in schools against religious minority children. 

In the meantime, the document says that the Parliament approved changes to the alternative service law establishing civilian control over alternative labor in lieu of military service. Following these amendments the government released all Jehovah's Witnesses serving sentences for refusing on religious grounds to perform mandatory military or alternative labor service.

"The U.S. government estimates the total population at 3 million (July 2013 estimate). According to the latest 2011 population census results, approximately 92 percent of the population identify themselves as affiliated with the Armenian Apostolic Church. Other religious groups, constituting less than 5 percent each of the total population", says the Report. 

"The law governing religious groups does not explicitly mandate registration of religious groups, but only registered groups have legal status. Unregistered groups may not publish more than 1,000 copies of newspapers or magazines, rent meeting places, broadcast programs on television or radio, or officially sponsor visitors' visas, although individual members may do so". 

"On April 18, the website "Freedom of Religion" reported the February 28 dismissal of Armine Davtyan, a professor at the Armenian State Pedagogical University. Davtyan claimed that she had been dismissed on religious grounds following the rejection of her doctoral thesis on peculiarities of spiritual education in high schools. According to the media report, the university claimed she had been removed as a result of general layoff. Davtyan noted that, while not a member of any religious group, her views differed from those of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and this had become evident during her doctoral thesis defense. Davtyan claimed she had been dismissed for these views", says the Report. 

The document also criticizes the Armenian mass media. "Most broadcast media outlets were owned by politicians in the ruling party or politically connected businessmen. Media outlets published inaccurate articles portraying religious minorities as criminals and spies. Many inflammatory statements did not specify a particular religious group, but instead aimed to create general intolerance toward all religious minorities. Religious groups also reported increased intolerance and threats in social networks", the document says. 

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