No religious sects in Armenia - official

Yerevan, Armenia - There is not a single religious sect in Armenia, the head of department on ethnic minorities and religious affairs Vardan Asatryan told journalists on Wednesday.

Asked by journalists to define the term “sect”, Asatryan said it is a religious union which is carrying out illegal activities.

“If law is not violated, we cannot call it a religious sect,” he said.

Asatryan stressed the assertions that religious sects have recently intensified their actions in Armenia are groundless.

“Twenty years ago many religious organizations penetrated into Armenia when the country gained independence. Since then, these structures managed to acquire all attributes peculiar to religious organizations. This was due to the fact that Armenia signed several international treaties and conventions that enhance human rights, including the right to free exercise of religion,” he added.

At the same time, the sects started constructing religious buildings near schools and kindergartens. It should be banned to construct such buildings in the places near educational institutions as they may influence children who do not have sufficient knowledge to make choice, he added.