Armenia (officially the Republic of Armenia) is a landlocked country in Transcaucasia region. Geographically it is located in Southwestern Asia, however with its cultural and political stance, it is considered a European country. From north it is bordered by Georgia, from east by Azerbaijan, from southeast by Mountainous Karabagh, from south by Iran, from southwest by the Autonomy of Nakhijevan, which is a part of Azerbaijan, and from west by Turkey. The capital city is Yerevan.
The population is 3.026.900, 90% of which are Armenians. The state language is Armenian. The state religion of Armenia is Christianity.
The history of Armenia as an established nation with government starts from the 6th century BC. The process of formation of Armenian people started from the 8th century BC.
Many crucial historical events relate to the Armenian Plateau. In the very beginning of the Bible, in the 2nd chapter of Genesis it is written about Eden and the 4 rivers going out of it (Genesis 2.10-14). Two of them are Euphrates and Tigris. From the Armenian Plateau also four rivers go out, two of them are Euphrates and Tigris… taking into account these facts, we can conclude that Eden was situated on the Armenian Plateau. It follows therefrom that humanity originated from this region. We take into account other facts as well; many nations (Britons, Basques, Bavarians, Gauls) note in their epic works and histories that their ancestors came from the Armenian Plateau (in some writings ‘‘from the Land of Gods’’).
In the territory of historical Armenia, the Mount of Ararat is located, upon which according to the Bible Noah’s Ark rested. This fact again stresses that humanity has originated from this area the second time. Japheth, one of Noah’s three sons (Shem, Ham, Japheth), had a son whose name was Gomer, who bore Togarmah.Togarmah was the father of the Patriarch of Armenian nation, Hayk. That is the reason Armenia is mentioned in some passages of the Scriptures; also, in the literature of the medieval period, Armenia was often replaced with synonymous ‘‘Torgarmah’s House’’ and ‘‘The Land of Ararat’’.
In 301 AD, during the reign of Armenian king Tiridades the 3rd, by strivings of the first Patriarch of Armenia, Gregory the Illuminator, Christianity was adopted officially as the state religion of the Greater Armenia; thus Armenia has become the first country on the globe to accept Christianity as a state religion.
Armenians are one of those unique nations that were persecuted and underwent extermination because of their faith. The greatest massacre the Armenian nation experienced was on the rise of the 20th century, when in their historical homeland, the Western Armenia (today’s Turkey), Armenians underwent mass displacement simply and 1,5 million Armenians were massacred because of being Christian. Even today, there are tens of thousands of Armenians, who live in their age-old homeland, the Western Armenia, but they do not disclose their identity and present themselves as Muslim Turks, for personal safety.
During the Soviet period, when any religion was forbidden throughout the whole Soviet Union, in Armenia there were underground Christian Churches. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Protestant Churches started to flourish.
Today the Republic of Armenia is a secular country; however, the Constitution acknowledges exclusive role of the Armenian Apostolic Church in spiritual life of Armenian people. The Church is called Apostolic, as its founders were Thaddeus and Bartholomew, the Apostles of Jesus Christ, who first preached Christianity in Armenia and were martyred here. From that time, Christianity entered to Armenia from Assyria and Cappadocia, and first was spread in the southern and western regions and colonies of the Greater Armenia.
The absolute majority of the population is Christian. Among the religious minorities are Catholics, Molokans, Russian Orthodox Christians, Evangelical Christians, Baptists, Pentecostal Christians, Charismatic Christians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Yezidis, Judaists, Sunni Muslims (especially Kurds) and Shia Muslims. In all, in the Republic of Armenia 66 religious communities are registered. Today attitude toward religious minorities in Armenia is positive; however, it is strange to state the intolerant attitude of the Apostolic Church toward Evangelical Churches, by labeling them as sects.