Minister denies plans to withdraw church history from school curricula

History of the Armenian Apostolic Church which is currently taught in schools of general education across Armenia will not be withdrawn from the curriculum, Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan stated in parliament on Wednesday.

During a question-and-answer session at the National Assembly Ashotyan was asked by an opposition lawmaker to comment on a recent report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child calling for the withdrawal of this “Church History” subject from school curricula as it allegedly violates the freedom of conscience and religion and thus contradicts the fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Ashotyan emphasized that the Constitution of Armenia recognizes the exceptional mission of the Armenian Apostolic Church in the preservation of national identity, spiritual and cultural development of citizens. He emphasized that policies in Armenia are determined by the Armenian government, while the UN committee report only contains recommendations.

“We worked with UN specialists in drafting the report, but this idea appeared in the document because of several individuals with Armenian roots and citizenship but financed as part of fashionable Western trends,” said the minister, refusing to name the representatives of Armenia’s civil society who advocated the inclusion of the mentioned recommendation in the UN committee report.