Due to former Soviet rule, many people in Armenia still speak Russian,
including the small ethnic Russian population. Even today Russian is widely spoken
and taught in schools, but English is also growing in popularity, although few people
are fluent in English.
Armenia was the first country in the world to officially
convert to Christianity, which they did in about 300 AD. The people still view Christianity
as an important identifying feature of their culture, although the most practiced
religion, Armenian Apostolic, is no longer officially recognized by the government
as the state religion.
Orthodoxy is a Christian religion that claims to be the most loyal to the Christian
faith and religion as it was described by Jesus and the Gospels in the New Testament.
Christianity, including Orthodoxy, was founded after the death of Jesus in about
30-33 AD; various branches of Orthodoxy were officially recognized by governments
long before Catholicism was recognized in the Roman Empire.
Orthodoxy and Catholicism have many of the same beliefs; both believe that there
is a single God who created everything and a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ
who is the forgiver of sins. However, Orthodoxy is very decentralized so each bishop
oversees their local country or region, giving each orthodox country a different
leader. In this way, no bishop has more power than any other, meaning the tenants
and interpretations of the faith remain relatively unchanged. These beliefs are
based on the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, in
particular the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the