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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Armenia

Ethnicity

Armenia is an extremely homogenous country as most of the people are ethnic Armenians. The Armenians are a people who have lived in the Caucus Mountains, and surrounding regions for millennia and are a somewhat ancient people with a fairly distinct ethnicity. With a homeland in the Caucus Mountains, the ethnic Armenians are most closely related to other Caucasian people. This makes the Armenians related to the people of Europe and the Middle East to varying degrees, but with no real close ethnic relatives.

Language

Armenian is the official language of Armenia and nearly everyone in Armenia speaks this language natively. The Armenian language is an ancient Indo-European language and is often considered to be its own branch of the language family, meaning it has no close linguistic relatives. Armenian is written in the Armenian alphabet, a distinct alphabet, not used with any other language.

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.

Religion

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 New Testament).

This page was last updated: May, 2014