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Soviet Union

Armenian Apostolic

The Armenian Apostolic religion is an independent Eastern Christian faith. It follows Orthodox Christian beliefs but differs from most other Christian religions in its refusal to accept the doctrine of Christ's two natures--divine and human--promulgated by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Armenians were converted to Christianity in the third century and became the first people in the world to adopt Christianity as a state religion. Despite seizing its property and subsequently persecuting and harassing its clergy and faithful, the Soviet government has allowed the Armenian Apostolic Church to continue as the national church of the Armenian Republic.

In the 1980s, the Armenian Apostolic Church had about 4 million faithful, or almost the entire Armenian population of the country. The church was permitted 6 bishops, between 50 and 100 priests, and between 20 and 30 churches, and it had one theological seminary and six monasteries.

Data as of May 1989