rss
youtube
facebook
Articles

Teaching practices of “Armenian Church History” subject at public schools of Armenia

19.08.2016
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, PhD

 

The teaching practices and methodologies in different schools and regions are different due to the local specificities of the place and also the professional level of the teachers. Most of the teachers have the license from the trainings provided by Christian Education center. During the trainings they get overall understanding about Bible, Armenian Apostolic Church, its rituals and practices and teach the subject based their own experience and practice. Many of the teachers have strong stereotypes and clichés on the historical positive role of Armenian Apostolic Church and negative role of religious minorities which affects their teaching process. These teachers do not get professional training on the new methods and methodologies of teaching by using and didactical materials and technologies. According to the Toledo principles the personal beliefs of a teacher shall not be sufficient to deprive him/her of teaching religion and beliefs (Toledo guiding principles 2007). However, the teacher should perform the teaching process in a way not to violate the other’s rights and not to impose its own convictions and beliefs on the students. In one of the schools of Yerevan the teacher starts the lessons with a nationalistic overview indicating the special role of Armenian Apostolic Church as the only religious component of Armenian identity and consequently talking against the other religious organizations as the “destructors of Armenian nation, religion and identity” 1.


It is worth mentioning that this teacher got a teaching excellence award by the Ministry of Education of the RA. 

During our observations of classes at secondary and high schools several basic characteristics ere identified
a) Religious rituals during the classes;
b) Religious preaching during the classes;
c) Hatred speech against the other religious organizations, religious and ethnic identification.

a) Religious rituals during the classes. The international law, Toledo principles and domestic law state that the education shall be carried out on the neutrality basis. The European Court for Human Rights also defines: “It is in the discharge of a natural duty towards their children - parents being primarily responsible for the “education and teaching” of their children - those parents may require the State to respect their religious and philosophical convictions. Their right thus corresponds to a responsibility closely linked to the enjoyment and the exercise of the right to education” (ECHR, Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen v. Denmark 1976, § 52). At the same time it should be mentioned that indoctrination or other preaching of a specific religion or a specific philosophy of life will be contrary to the European Convention and the ICCPR (ECHR, Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen v. Denmark 1976, § 53; Valsamis v. Greece, § 28).

The criteria for the “Armenian Church history” textbooks are worked out by the National Institute of education where the secular nature of education is stated and also is indicated that this education is a part of religious studies, i.e. means that the education shall be performed on the basis of scholarly objective and neutral way. According to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and section 3 of the Human Rights Act, the decision on the case of Folgero vs Norway stated that “it must be understood to the effect that pupils had a right to be exempted and that their parents had no obligation to let their children follow lessons on religion and philosophy regarded as preaching or indoctrinating in the sense of those treaties. The children could therefore be absent from such classes. The question as to how large a part of the syllabus would be affected in this way would have to be decided in each concrete case depending on how the teaching was planned and implemented” (ECHR, Folgerø and Others v. Norway, 2007, § 37). 

The hegemonic role of Armenian Apostolic Church while composing the curricula, training of teachers, electing the supervisors and implementing the supervision in the public schools brings an essential damage to the secular nature of the education and the Government does not interfere in this matter. The observations and monitoring of the schools in Yerevan, Vanadzor and other cities and regions showed that many teachers, by their own initiative, start the classes with the pray “Our Father” and some of the teachers require to read some passages from the Bible. The head of Christian Education center archimandrite Vardan mentions that they strictly prohibited to start the classes with pray but the teachers continue to implement that practice due to their convictions and even in some places the parents asked the teacher to start the class with a pray. He also mentions that some directors of school ask the Church to open the season for classes with a common pray and they send deacons to implement a “welcome” ceremony at schools2

Though the Church clergy, responsible for the teaching of the subject at schools, mentions that the subject has secular nature and is a part of public education however he indicates the fact that their goal is to spread Christian education. To teach about the religions and history of religions is not the same as to spread or give Christian education. These are two distinctive and contradictory methods and contents for teaching. When the subject was firstly introduced into the school system there were not sufficient number of teachers and due to this fact many clergy started to teach at schools as public school teachers. As of 2008 at No 119 public school in Yerevan the teacher for the subject Armenian Church history was a clergy from Armenian Apostolic Church who taught the subject through indoctrination and he approached to the subject as a spiritual education class and not just a religious history class3. Except praying the teachers also teach the students to make a cross on themselves after the pray and in one of the schools of Yerevan the teacher provoked the other students to attack a Jehovah’s Witness boy and to damage his shirt. After the complaint from the parents the teacher and the director apologized for the situation and the parents of the attacking student had to buy a new t-shirt for his classmate4.

The praying practice is also interesting from the point that many teachers and directors of public schools comprehended this action as a part of their own “civil religion” because many of them equalize the praying “Our Father” with national anthem of Armenia, the Coat of Arms is equalized with the Christian cross, etc5. This is the reason why in the majority of public schools in Armenia there is the photo of President of Armenia and Catholicos of Holy See Mother Etchmiadzin side by side, as well as the “Our Father” pray or cross and next to it the Coat of Arms and flag of the Republic. This kind of equalization between the elements of civil religion and symbols of a specific religion shows the ideology of national and religious identification widely advocated by hegemonic religious group and nationalistic parties and groups in the Government. This “confusion” of State and religious symbols has its specific historical roots when Armenia did not have statehood and the only official national body was the Armenian Apostolic Church. According to the Constitution of Armenia “The Church shall be separate from the state in the Republic of Armenia” (Article 8.1) but in public opinion still prevails the opinion that Armenian Apostolic Church is a State religion in Armenia6

According to the No 1720 (2005) recommendation by Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the member states shall ensure that the religious education at public schools is taught in a manner that it does not become a worshipping, even if the State has a State religion. The religion shall be taught not to root a belief among the students but to give knowledge that religion is a source for belief for millions (PACE No. 1720, 2005). Any expression of religious worship in public educational institutions, including but not limited to evidence of crosses in classrooms (ECHR, Lautsi vs. Italy), religious scarves or other religious dresses (ECHR, Dogru vs. France) are means of expression of religion publicly. In some rural villages the teachers take the pupils to a local religious pilgrimage or to a Church ceremony which is also a violation of secular roots of education (Danielyan 2012). Even there is a task in the text-books of Armenian Church history to visit the closest Church and get acquainted with the Church history. Of course the pupils are supposed to visit one of the Churches of Armenian Apostolic Church and not any other Church of any other religious group (6th class, theme “The Church”). In this regard the public manifestation of elements of religious worship or the public affirmation or manifestation of belief/convictions/faith (through preaching or otherwise) within the school environment may not be compatible with the respect to others, religious tolerance and pluralism, non-discrimination on the basis of religion, race, social status, etc. and democratic principles which the State authorities and school teachers should provide for the pupils at public schools (ECHR, Dahlab vs. Switzerland, p. 13). 

b) Religious preaching during the classes. According to all international instruments and Toledo principles the teaching about religions and beliefs should not have religious content, rather give neutral knowledge on religions and beliefs. After the amendments in the Constitution and adoption of law on “The relationships of the Republic of Armenia and Armenian Apostolic Holy Church” the Armenian Apostolic Church entered to public school and gradually became more powerful, especially after the appointment of Tigran Sargsyan as prime minister (2008-2014) and Armen Ashotyan (2009-up to now) as the Minister of Education and Science. Both of them were openly advocating the superiority of Armenian Apostolic Church over the other religious groups. The best description of the policy implemented by prime minister is his following words: “The principle of separation the State and Church is ancient. If we are the Church then how and when shall I divide the Christian man in myself”7. In a democratic State such expression of any official against the Constitution shall cause his/her dismissal. 

The mentioned is a good example to explain why during the classes of Armenian Church history the notions of “nation” and “Church” are identified. “…we are ought to recognize the absolute role of Armenian Apostolic Church. I am convinced that within our history and today our Church is penetrated into the identity and value system of each Armenian. The Church has exceptional spiritual mission within our life and as in the past as in the future nobody may doubt to such oneness”8. The “Directory” of National Institute of Education of Ministry of Education and Science among the tasks of the “Armenian Church history” subject mentions the following: “One of the basic educational tasks of the subject is the formation of love and respect towards the traditions of mother Church and national traditions and rituals” (“Directory” 2011).

Though even in the contract signed between the parents and the school on free education is mentioned that the education is secular and no political or religious preaching is allowed, however some teachers during the class make religious preaching without fully recognizing the nature of their activities. The Vardan archimandrite Navasardyan states that the Christian education center strictly prohibited any teacher to make preaching during the classes9. Notwithstanding of this many priests continue to visit the schools by the request of the school directors or teachers during the Church celebrations and talk about the role of Armenian Apostolic Church.  Some of the heads of dioceses also visit the schools which are not allowed to do any other priest of any other religious organization10. In other schools regularly are organized meetings with clergy with all pupils of the school in school hall where the teachers are also encouraged to be present11. The visits of clergy in many schools of Armenia take place during the Church feasts or celebrations or at the welcoming of new pupils on September 1 12. Some of the clergy visit the Churches by their own initiative but mostly their visits are planned and agreed beforehand13. In some schools there are groups for so called “homeland studies” where the clergy visit for spiritual growth and education. 

The teachers of schools No. 11 and 41 of city Gyumri also asserted that clergy from Armenian Apostolic Church visit their school. In some of the schools teachers organize special tour-pilgrimage to the Churches of their villages or town where the pupils get “spiritual food” and spiritual education. Usually the directors and teachers tell that they try to organize the meetings with clergy out of classes though they mentioned cases when the clergy acted as a teacher for a specific class14. A priest Levon Hovhannisyan from the Artik town tells that he regularly attends the school and has conversations with pupils about spiritual topics. He taught the pupils how to make crosses in themselves and how to say the pray “Our Father”. He mentions that making crosses he taught during the class “Crucifixion”15. The teachers and directors of schools in town Goris, Sisian, cities Vanadzor, Gyumri assert that in various times and circumstances they had clergy at their schools who preaches the pupils, taught them different subjects. Many of them mentioned that the school with the agreement of higher authority applied to clergy for such visits and they are convinced that such visits are very helpful for pupils’ spiritual growth.

The mentioned examples prove that in many schools there are cases of religious preaching as the preaching itself by clergy of any Church or religious organization in the public school, teaching how to make cross or how to say pray “Our Father” or the manifestation of religious symbols in schools and especially in classrooms. The teaching of “Armenian Church history” subject by a clergy does not correspond to the secular nature of education and also violates the rights of pupils and their parents to get neutral and objective knowledge and information on any religious organization. The teaching of religious subjects shall be taught without indoctrination or “soul hunting” (this term as proselytizing is used mostly against religious minorities which implement active missionary work) and education system shall provide alternative teaching courses for different religious or non-religious groups on the basis on neutrality and impartiality which can be deemed as lawful and shall not be considered as religious preaching (ECHR, Lautsi vs. Italy, § 74).

Hatred speech against the other religious organizations, religious and ethnic identification. According to precedential decision of European Court for Human Rights. “In this regard, the Court considers that, in a democratic society, only pluralism in education can enable pupils to develop a critical mind with regard to religious matters in the context of freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In this respect, it should be noted that, as the Court has held on numerous occasions, this freedom, in its religious dimension, is one of the most vital elements that go to make up the identity of believers and their conception of life, but it is also a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned” (ECHR, Hasan and Eylem Zengin against Turkey, § 69). According to the Vienna Final Act the OSCE member countries shall “in this context respect, inter alia, the liberty of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions”(Concluding document of the Vienna Meeting 1986).

Comparing with the education system and the mechanism for teaching of religions and beliefs used in Russian schools where alternative subjects such as Cultural premises of Orthodox Church, Cultural premises of Buddhism, Cultural premises of Islam, Ethics, etc., are offered, the Armenian educational system does not provide any alternative. The authors of text-books for Armenian Church history subject state that “during the last years totalitarian and destructive sects entered into Armenia criticized by famous international organizations which have serious intentions to penetrate into public school and root there. The goal of the course is to protect the growing generation from such negative organizations”16. This means that in the teaching program for teachers is already outlined the identification of nation and religion and on that basis discriminatory attitude towards other religious organizations may arise. 

Our field study in many schools of Armenia revealed the fact that teachers have discriminatory attitude toward the children from other faiths and especially towards the Jehovah’s witnesses17. A teacher in one of the schools of Gyumri city pointed out some of the pupils and said that they are believers and they attend to evangelical church. That was an open pressure on the pupils in front of whole class and those pupils gradually started not to attend the Church fearing from the attitude of teacher and other pupils18. One of the interesting aspects of discriminatory attitude is to call the pupils from religious minorities “believers” which has an offensive connotation. Many of the pupils were called “believers” or in some cases even “sectarians” which marginalized the pupils which caused bad and sometimes hostile attitude by their classmates. 

Many teachers mention that while talking about historical religious movements of Paulicians and Tondraketsi they bring examples from current sectarian movements and mention that sects and any religious organization other than Armenian Apostolic Church threaten the national identity, national security and national integrity. Moreover, they point out that the religious minorities in Armenia destruct the nation having in mind that Armenians are small nation the State should implement some actions to decrease the activities of religious minorities19. In several schools the teachers entered the class at the first day asked if there are any sectarians in the class let them to stand up and identify themselves. And when the pupil manifests good knowledge of Bible the teachers immediately identify them as sectarians and adopt special negative attitude towards them20.

At the same time there are very open-minded teachers who treat all pupils equally without paying attention to the religious belonging. Some of those teachers mentioned that they are even more careful towards such pupils because they are more vulnerable and they need good treatment and encouragement. Some of the teachers mentioned that they told the pupils not to press the sectarian pupils but only explain them21. The words of a teacher are especially interesting: “We do not have sectarian pupils because we work on that direction and seed only Christianity in them”22. It is worth mentioning that the function of the teacher is not “seeding” any religion or belief but many of the teachers comprehended their mission as preachers of Christianity which they understand by their own. One of the teachers in Goris town asked the local priest to have a special class against the sectarians and the priest taught a separate class called “Struggle against sectarians” and after that we went to the streets with banners and posters against sects on April 29, 2011 23.

The parents of religious minority groups mention that sometimes some problems arise with some teachers but most of the problems were amicably solved. Some of the teachers took responsibility to become “savior of nation” and the main hindrance on the way of their “mission” they see the representatives of religious minorities. They also think that the teaching of “truth” shall be helpful for the “distracted” pupils and shall increase the authority of Armenian Apostolic Church24. An interesting case happened in the No. 28 school of Gymri city in April 2006. Members of Latter Day Saints’ Church (Mormon Church) expressed their will for their children not to attend the “Armenian Church history” class. The director of the school invited the parents and told them openly: “The believers do not retain the right to attend this school”. The city mayor supported the director and the parents had to change the school for their children25. The Toledo principles point out the opt-out right when the parents enjoy the right not to allow their children to attend a class which contradicts to their beliefs or convictions (Toledo guiding principles, Section V, Clause C). 

However many of the teachers mention that they try to be tolerant and the pupils of religious minorities are very responsible and most of them are always ready for the class. Many of the teachers felt the pressure and expressed the official position and tried to be more “catholic than the Roman Pope”. One of the reasons for such attitude is the lack of professional education for many of the teachers involved in teaching of “Armenian Church history” subject. Because of the absence of relevant number of teachers the teachers of Armenian History, Armenian literature or even teachers of physical education took the responsibility to teach the Armenian Church history class. For such non-systematic approach the teaching of the subject faced many difficulties and hindrances and its overcoming requires times and preparation of a generation of teachers with professional education. The majority of the problems are connected with non professional approaches by the teachers not having specialized education and only trainings by the Christian education center in Etchmiadzin which apparently is not enough and is not systematic education. Many of these teachers think that their mission is to preach Christian religion by indoctrination, resemble the priests of Armenian Apostolic Church, make the pupils pray during the classes, make propaganda against religious minorities for “saving” nation, identify the religious and national belonging, make nationalistic propaganda through criticizing any religious organization other than Armenian Apostolic Church, etc.

Conclusion

The introduction of the “Armenian Church History” subject was implemented very quickly and without prior relevant preparation. The public schools system did not have adequate number of professional teachers which caused many problems and issues in the educational system. The supervision of the subject implemented by only one hegemonic religious organization also raised many questions among international and local organizations, religious minority groups and other interested parties. The training of the teachers was predominantly implemented by Christian Education center at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin which contradicts many international instruments and also one of the basic principles of the Constitution stating on the separation of State and Church. There is not also any domestic law, legal act which regulates such transfer of state functions to a specific religious organization which also raises many concerns among the interested parties. The supervision of the teaching process is also implemented by the same center and its specialists who can freely enter any public school and supervise the teachers. Some of the teachers were fired after their reports which mean that teachers are under the full control of Etchmiadzin meaning that they are obliged to follow the rules of the Church and defend the interests of the Church. They implement their function through identification of the nationality with Armenian Apostolic Church which is a new form of nationalism based on religious unification and belonging.  

The text-books of the subject are concentrated mostly on the Armenian Church history, its doctrines, dogmas and celebrations paying very little attention to other religious organizations, their history or doctrine. The history of Islam or Buddhism is described very shortly and the history of paganism in Armenia is also included in these text-books without proper reasoning or argumentation. The text books should be improved in the future and recently there was a research made on the issues and its finding may be very useful to improve not only the text-books but also the quality of the teaching process of the subject.

The active preaching of Armenian Apostolic Church faith during the teaching process violated the secular nature of education defined by Constitution and the law on “Public education” (Article 4.3), as well as Toledo principles and other international instruments. The inactivity of State authorities violates the positive obligations of the State defined by Articles 9th, 14th and 2nd article of 1 Protocol of European Convention of Human Rights as the “Armenian Church history” subject is obligatory which contradicts to the mentioned provisions of the Convention. The Ministry of education of Armenia does not provide any alternative choice for pupils and their parents as well as the opt-out rights is not applicable due to the Armenian domestic law. The State should respect the religious and philosophical convictions of parents (ECHR, Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen vs. Denmark, § 52). This approach violates also the rights of minorities as the subject is taught through identification of national and religious belonging which gives rises to a new kind of nationalism based on the hegemony of Armenian Apostolic Church.

The interviews with teachers, directors of schools, officials showed that in many cases the teachers are responsible for the violations of subject criteria, indoctrination of the subject and making pressures on the pupils from religious minorities. The head of Christian Education center Vardan archimandrite Navasardyan assures that they instructed the teachers many times not to do any preaching in the classroom and follow to the instructions of subject curriculum. However, the quality research showed that many teachers either did not understand those instructions or tries to impose their own value systems on the pupils due to the lack of their professional education and absence of knowledge on the undertaken international obligations and signed conventions by the State. Most of the problems caused by the unprofessional approach of the teachers or school directors were somehow solved though in some cases the pupils and their parents had to change their school which is a discriminatory attitude. Such attitude was evident in the classrooms by some teachers who were convinced that religious minorities threaten the national identity, security and integrity of Armenians.

The analysis of the teaching process of the subject “Armenian Church history” revealed the fact there are still many issues and problems connected to the teaching process, approaches, methodology, management which need to be solved based on the principles of international and domestic law while respecting the rights of religious minorities. There are two bunches of issues in this sphere: institutional and occasional. First of all, the supervision of the subject shall not be implemented by any religious organization as that is a violation of constitutional principle of State and Church separation. The preparation of a new generation of professional teachers may also become a mean for the solution of some issues. The introduction and application of opt-out right, as well as introduction of alternative subjects, such as history of religions or ethics, may be very useful to overcome the current issues existing in the public schools of Armenia.


Literature

Casanova, Jose (1994). Public Religions in the Modern World, The University of Chicago Press.
Charles Robia (2010). “Religiousity and Trust in Religious Institutions. Tales from the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia)”, Politics and Religion, Vol. 3 (2).
Curanović, Alisja (2013). The Post-Soviet Religious Model: Reflections on Relations between the State and Religious Institutions in the CIS Area1, Religion, State and Society, 41:3.
Danielyan, Stepan; Ghazaryan, Ara; Hovhannisyan, Hovhannes; Avtandilyan, Arthur (2012). The issues of religious education in the public schools of the Republic of Armenia. Yerevan.
Frank, Katharina and Bochinger, Christoph. Religious Education in Switzerland as a Field of Work for the Study of Religions: Empirical Results and Theoretical Reflections. Numen 55 (2008).
Grimmitt, Michael (1973): What Can I do in R.E.? A Guide to New Ap-proaches. 2nd ed. 1978. Great Wakering: Mayhew-McGrimmon.
Jackson, Robert (2004). Rethinking Religious Education and Plurality. Issues in Diversity and Pedagogy. London: Routledge.
Jödicke, Ansgar (2013) (a). Religious Education in State Schools in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia. Democratic Politics of Religion and the Plurality of Religious Representations. The Caucasus and Globalization. Vol. 7, Issue 1-2. 
Jödicke, Ansgar (2013) (b), Introduction, in: Religious Education Politics, the State, and Society, Ergon, Wurzburg. 
Broadbent, Lynne;  Brown, Alan (2002). Issues in Religious Education. Psychology Press, 235 pages.
Basil, Mitchell (1980). Religious Education. Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 6, No.2.
Schreiner, Peter; Kraft Friedhelm;  Wright, Andrew (2007). Good Practice in Religious Education in Europe: Examples and Perspectives of Primary Schools. LIT Verlag Münster, 158 pages.
Schreiner, Peter (2000). Religious Education in Europe. A Collection of Basic In-formation about RE in European Countries. Münster: ICCS/Comenius-Institute.
Tomka, Miklós (2011). Expanding religion. Religious Revival in Post-communist Central and Eastern Europe. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Special documents and reports

Concluding document of the Vienna Meeting 1986 of the representatives of the participating States of OSCE. Held on the basis of the provisions of Final Act relating to the follow-up to the conference, Vienna 1989, § 16.7. Seehttp://www.osce.org/mc/40881?download=true.
“Directory” of National Institute of Education, May, 2011.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Dahlab vs. Switzerland, No. 42393/98, 15.02.2001, p. 13.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Dogru vs. France, No. 27058/05, 04.12.2008.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Folgerø and Others v. Norway, ECtHR, App. No. 15472/02, 29 June 2007, para. 37.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Kjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen v. Denmark (judgment of 7 December 1976, Series A, pp. 25-26, § 52, § 53,and Belgian linguistic case (merits), judgment of 23 July 1968, Series A no. 6, pp. 31-32, § 4. Quoted in Case of Folgerø and Others v. Norway, ECtHR, App. No. 15472/02, 29 June 2007, para. 84.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Hasan and Eylem Zengin against Turkey, App. No. 1448/04, 09.10.2007.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Lautsi vs. Italy, No. 30814/06, 18.03.2011.
European Court of Human Rights in the case of Valsamis v. Greece, § 28.
PACE, No. 1720 (2005) recommendation on religion and education, adopted on 04.10.2005, session No. 27, Clause 14.4. 
Program for Armenian Church history subject (V-XI classes), Ministry of Education and Science, 2010.
Toledo guiding principles on teaching about religions and beliefs in public schools (2007): Prepared by the ODIHR advisory council of experts on freedom of religion or belief, Published by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). http://www.osce.org/ odihr/29154.
UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding observations on the combined third and fourth periodic reports of Armenia, adopted by the Committee at its sixty-third session (27 May – 14 June 2013), CRC/C/ARM/CO/3-4, 8 July, 2013, F 46 (d).

Focus Groups, Interviews and Observations

Focus group with young people (14-21 years old) from Jehovah’s Witness organization. June 23, 2014.
Interview with the head of the Christian Education Center archimandrite Vardan Navasardyan taken by A. Avtandilyan.
Interview with the head of education department of Lori region Mayis Khachatryan.
Interview with the director of N18 school of Vanadzor Armen Marabyan.
Interview with Jemma Avetisyan, chief specialist of department of education of Shirak region administration.
Interview with teacher of Armenian Church history subject at No. 4 school of Goris Gayane Narinyan.
Interview with the director of N3 school of Kapan Eduard Beglaryan.
Interview with the teacher of Armenian Church history of No. 3 school of Kapan Marina Ghazaryan.
Interview with priest Levon Hovhannisyan, Artik, spiritual leader of Lmbatavank.
Interview with a parent of a pupil from School No. 7 of Kapan, Jehovah’s witness.
Interview with a member of Baptist Church in Gyumri.
Interview with a teacher of the Armenian Church history subject at school No. 4 of Artik, Karine Matinyan. 
Interview with the director of No, 7 school of Kapan, Karine Hovsepyan. 
Interview with the priest of “Great Grace” Baptist Church in Gyumri, Vahan Poghosyan.
Interview with the teacher of Armenian Church history subject at No. 1 school of Goris, Flora Khachatryan.
Interview with a parent of a pupil from No. 3 school of Goris, Jehovah’s witness.
Observation of a class teaching at the N159 high school at Masiv region of Yerevan.

Web-sites

Radionews, Liana Eghaizaryan, 18.02.2012, 15:39 p.m. http://www.armradio.am/arm/news/?part=soc&id=46818.
“AZG” daily, #167, 13.09.2008 (http://azg.am/AM/2008091316).
“Catholicos and the Minister awarded the winners of “Best teachers in 2011” competition, www.hetq.am. 9.11.2011.

1. Observation of a class teaching at the N159 high school at Masiv region of Yerevan.
2. Interview with the head of the Christian Education Center archimandrite Vardan Navasardyan taken by A. Avtandilyan.
3. The teacher was the spiritual leader of the community Nubarashen and the priest Nikoghayos Hovhannisyan worked for the school No. 119. 
4. Focus group with young people (14-21 years old) from Jehovah’s Witness organization, June 23, 2014.
5. Interview with Armen Marabyan - the director of N18 school in Vanadzor.
6. I ask this question to my students every year and vast majority thinks that Armenian Apostolic Church is a State religion as was centuries ago.
7. See “AZG” daily, #167, 13.09.2008 (http://azg.am/AM/2008091316).
8. “Catholicos and the Minister awarded the winners of “Best teachers in 2011” competition, www.hetq.am. 9.11.2011.
9. Interview with the head of the Christian Education Center archimandrite Vardan Navasardyan taken by A. Avtandilyan.
10. Interview with Jemma Avetisyan, chief specialist of department of education of Shirak region administration.
11. Interview with teacher of Armenian Church history subject at No. 4 school of Goris Gayane Narinyan.
12. Interview with the head of education department of Lori region Mayis Khachatryan.
13. Interview with the director of N3 school of Kapan Eduard Beglaryan.
14. Interview with the teacher of Armenian Church history of No. 3 school of Kapan Marina Ghazaryan.
15. Interview with priest Levon Hovhannisyan, Artik, spiritual leader of Lmbatavank.
16. Program for Armenian Church history subject (V-XI classes), Ministry of Education and Science. 
17. Interview with a parent of a pupil from No. 7 school of Kapan, Jehovah’s witness.
18. Interview with a member of Baptist Church in Gyumri.
19. Interview with the teacher of the Armenian Church history subject at school No. 4 of Artik, Karine Matinyan; Interview with the director of No. 7 school of Kapan, Karine Hovsepyan. 
20. Interview with the priest of “Great Grace” Baptist Church in Gyumri, Vahan Poghosyan.
21. Interview with the teacher of Armenian Church history of No. 3 school of Kapan Marina Ghazaryan.
22. Interview with the teacher of Armenian Church history subject at No. 4 school of Goris Gayane Narinyan.
23. Interview with the teacher of Armenian Church history subject at No. 1 school of Goris, Flora Khachatryan. 
24. Interview with a parent of a pupil from No. 3 school of Goris, Jehovah’s witness.