One of the world’s oldest civilizations, Armenia was the first in the world to officially accept Christianity as its state religion. Unfortunately many decades of communist agnostic propaganda diminished the strong spiritual roots and traditions in the country. As a result of this spiritual gap, there is a lack of functioning churches and priests in many communities of Armenia. People’s knowledge about Christianity is very limited and is mainly based on the talks and ideology of parents that were strongly influenced by communistic atheism.
Recognizing the spiritual need to reach people with the gospel and to bring communities back to church, in 2006 the Jinishian Memorial Foundation-Armenia (JMF-Armenia) and the dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church together started a project called Spiritual Education and Experiences for Children.
Arevatsag, Akori, Gegharkounik and Artanish are four different remote villages in Armenia which like many Armenian remote villages have neither church nor priest. Due to the settlement of the villages the majority of the children have no chance to communicate with priests and visit churches in other places.
It has been four months already three young priests regularly visit these villages, bringing the Word of God into the heart of about five hundred Armenian children and teaching Christian values which develop moral convictions. Through spiritual discussions, bible studies, prayers, celebration of Christian rituals/holidays, acceptance of baptism, visits to historical churches and other spiritual activities children identified with their spiritual and religious heritage. Each meeting with priest is both challenge and opportunity for children as they try to find the Spiritual path that is right for each of them.
Fr. Vrtanes, one of the pastors who is in charge of the project says “This project was the will of God” and we are simply the hands that perform the will of God”.
Read about the project...