May 31, 2018 - 12:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Representatives of Christian minority religious groups in Armenia have said they continued to worship freely; however, some Christians said they felt obligated to practice their religion discreetly, particularly while serving in the military, according to a fresh report by the United States Department of State.
The annual International Religious Freedom Report covers some 200 countries in the the period between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017.
"The constitution states that everyone has freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. The constitution recognizes the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC) as the national church and preserver of national identity, but also establishes separation of “religious organizations” and the state. Religious minority groups stated they were particularly concerned with the potentially negative effect on minority religious groups of a draft law on religious freedom," the report says.
"Human rights activists continued to express concern about the government’s concurrence with the AAC’s dissemination of teaching in schools that often equated AAC affiliation with national identity. According to minority religious groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government statements equating national identity to affiliation with the AAC continued to fuel both governmental and societal discrimination against religious organizations other than the AAC."