31.10.2008 15:07

Legislative and policy frameworks regulating religious organizations
in Armenia were the focus of an OSCE-supported roundtable discussion
held in Yerevan today.

Representatives of state bodies, the Armenian Apostolic Holy
Church, different religious and national minority communities and
non-governmental organizations shared their views on the relationship
between the state and religious organizations, highlighting the role
of religion in society. They also discussed matters of state policy
and practice in the area of freedom of thought, conscience, religion
or belief, and presented their views on the need to amend legislation
regulating this sphere.

Ms. Silvia Pogolsa, Human Rights Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan
said: "Religious tolerance helps support peace not only for the state,
but also for the whole region. We hope that this roundtable discussion
will contribute to the promotion of religious tolerance in Armenia
and will have its impact on legislative and policy improvements,
with the involvement of all stakeholders."

Stepan Danielyan, Chairman of the Collaboration for Democracy Centre
NGO, added that one of the aims of the roundtable discussion was to
facilitate the dialogue between the state, Armenian Apostolic Holy
Church and various religious organizations on the topic of religion
in a modern state and society.

The event was organized by the Collaboration for Democracy Centre NGO,
with the support of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.