Government and Church Assure of Reciprocal Support

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The leader of the Armenian Church–His Holiness Karekin II paid a visit to the newly appointed prime minister Andranik Markarian Monday to express the Church’s support to the government’s efforts to overcome the hardships facing the country and its people–reported the government press office.

His Holiness once again assured the prime minister that the Church will use all its resources to support the government.

The two men also discussed issues related to the state-Church relations–including the government’s support to the Church in celebrating the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity to be marked in 2001.

The prime minister expressed hope that the Church will continue playing an important role in the strengthening of Armenian statehood and will support the government in its activities aimed at bringing improvemen’s in the lives of the people.

Markarian said that the government was also ready to assist the Church to resolve problems in state-Church relations. In this respect the prime minister put emphasis on the Memorandum of Intentions signed by the state and the Church which has already helped regulate a number of issues.

His Holiness KareKin II–the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenia’s–paid a visit to the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Friday and had a meeting with the Academy Presidium members and Academic Institutes’ Directors.

"The Armenian Church has always been the advocate of culture and science," said Fadey Sargsyan–President of the National Academy–welcoming the first visit of His Holiness.

He told the Catholicos about the Academy’s activity during the recent period. in honor of his visit Sargsyan presented His Holiness with a vessel–dating back to the 18th century BC–found by the Armenian archaeologists in the territory of Sisian region. "The Armenian Pontiffs have always been in close contact with the educational and cultural institutions–and have highly appreciated and extended particular love towards scientists. Our two former Pontiffs have also been members of this scientific center," said His Holiness–expressing confidence that the Church will continue on to support the development of the scientific mind–the mission of which is to serve to the prosperity and progress of humankind.

In this relation His Holiness accorded importance to the role of the Academy in all spheres of public life and especially stressed contacts with the Church–having the confidence that mutual support would make the activities of both the Church and science more effective and fruitful.

Academicians Levon Hakhverdian–Vladimir Barkhoudarian,. Sergey Hambardzoumian–Constantin Karagyeozian welcomed His Holiness and delivered speeches.

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