13-12-2009
I’ll sacrifice myself for the sake of heresy
Many young people do not profess apostolic church.
Many young people do not profess apostolic church. In recent decade the number of religious organizations increases day by day. There are about 66 religious unions in the Republic of Armenia. According to their legal and documentary status they may be of 3 types: registered religious unions, non governmental organizations and non registered unions or groups that realize their activities without legal status affirmed by RA legislation. It is significant that the number of youth involved in them is huge. “Heretical organizations with the help of youth realize their preachy and the latter sparing no efforts try to mislead the others”, tell the prelate of Gegharkunik diocese bishop Markos Hovhannisyan. In recent years Armenian apostolic church pays much attention to the spiritual education of the youth. Proofs to this are unions and centers adjacent to churches where lectures are delivered on spiritual theme or pilgrimages are made. Press secretary of Araratyan patriarchal diocese Eliza Manukyan assures that these kinds of events are organized for youth who have different interests. In recent years with the participation of pupils, students and solders is being celebrated the fest of Saint Vardan, which strengthens the relation between society, church and army. There are some young men who avoid the army by different reasons. It’s the 5th year that the followers of various heresies avoiding the compulsory military service go to the alternative service. In 2003 was adopted the RA law “On Alternative military service” which states “The citizen subject to conscription to compulsory military service has the right to an alternative service if his faith or convictions are against compulsory military service in military units as well as against carrying, keeping, maintaining and using arms”. The president of the ‘Center for Organizing Youth Activities’ of the RA Sports and Youth Affair Ministry Samvel Mertardzyan is preoccupied with the problem of avoidance from army. By measures of Ministry of Defense and the Cathedral of Saint Ejmiatsin Church the servants of church realize spiritual services in different military units of republic. They advocate faith to Armenian apostolic church and raise the martial spirit of soldiers. Sometimes heretics under the cover of cultural event participants enter the military units and preach their beliefs. The deacon of Qanaqer military unit Gevorg Hambardzumyan recalled a case when pastor of evangelical church union Rene Levonyan had visited one of the military units of republic and after ‘cultural precept’ he delivered heretical brochures. ‘Jehovah’s witnesses report that according to the data of 30 July, 2009, 71 Jehovah’s witnesses who refuse to serve in the army or rejected the alternative service are imprisoned and one of them is under the pre-trial detention. Jehovah’s witnesses state that all released people had been given opportunity to serve alternative service rather than imprisonment but they refused because of the fact that there would have been administrative control over the alternative service’ is mentioned in the report of ‘International Religion Freedom’ released by the US State Department in 2009. However there are cases when Jehovah’s witnesses serve in army and even more, do their military duties reserved by military regulation. Deacon Gevorg recalls that in one of the Meghri military unities a heretic soldier has taken up arms and participated in maneuver. According to the data of recent years the majority of youth, about 89, 4% profess Armenian apostolic church. The pastor of St. Sargis church Hakob Khachatryan says that the problem of youth is the lack of spiritual knowledge which is a matter of time.