UNESCO Offers Patronage for 1 700th Celebrations

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The United Nations Educational–Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has suggested that some of next year’s ceremonies marking the 1700th anniversary of Christianity’s adoption by Armenia be held under its auspices–officials said on Wednesday.

UNESCO’s governing body made the offer after declaring June 17–2001 an "official anniversary day," according to a statement by the Armenian foreign ministry. The move was solicited by the government and the Armenian Apostolic Church–it said.

"In this regard–the Ecclesiastical commission on the 1700th anniversary has expressed confidence that all Armenian [church] dioceses and national-public organizations will give the utmost publicity to the great Armenian holiday," the ministry said. A separate government commission has also been preparing for the celebrations that will take place throughout next year.

The medieval Armenian kingdom was the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion.


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