Sixty-five religious organisations are registered in Armenia, says Vardan Astsatryan, Head of the Department for Ethnic Minorities and Religious Affairs of the Armenian Government. However, he could not say the number of non-registered religious organisations in the country.
He says the legal framework of religious affairs is open and uncontrolled. “Currently, the issue is under consideration at the Ministry of Justice. They are trying to find solutions,” he said. “We use the word ‘sect’ which is not accepted by religious organisations.”
The Armenian legislature requires that a religious organisation should be officially registered while the international law does not set such a requirement.
“The same is true about proselytizing. Venice experts do not view proselytizing is an objectionable phenomenon; they say it is a normal religious activity.” Venice experts have also criticized the bill on Freedom of Conscience and Religion.