Agreement Between Church And State to Be Signed

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–By prime minister Andranik Margarian’s decision–Razmik Markosian was appointed chairman of the State Council on Religious Affairs under the Armenian government

Razmik Markosian was born in 1949 in Yerevan. In 1989 he graduated from Yerevan Polytechnic University receiving the qualification of an engineer.

From 1960 he was involved in a clandestine movement for national liberation and in 1969 he joined the National United Party. In 1974 he was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment for his political ideas. Currently he does not belong to any party.

In his first interview to local Azg daily–Razmik Markosian says there are positive trends in State-Church relations. "Being estranged from the society and public for tens of years–the Church confronts today major challenges to restore itself as a structure disseminating spiritual values," Markosian says.

According to him–one of the most important issues remains the registration of various religious groups and sects and bringing their activities in line with the acting legislation. He says that out of 40 religious groups acting in Armenia only 10 have been officially registered with the government. The rest are actually acting illegally and show no haste to bring their regulations in line with the legislation.

Markosian also says that his Council will be actively involved in preparation of a wide range of events to celebrate the 1700th anniversary of Christianity adoption by Armenia’s to be marked in 2001. The Council also has a lot to do in transferring more than 15 churches to the Armenian Apostolic Church without any compensation stipulated by a memorandum of understanding signed recently between the Church and the government.

In Markosian’s words–State-Church relations will be more distinctly fixed after the Big Agreement signing scheduled at the end of the year.

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