Gyumri, Armenia, Jun 23, 2016 / 05:01 am
Pope Francis' visit to Armenia is a chance to build on decades of productive ecumenical dialogue with the Armenian Apostolic Church, a local Catholic bishop has said.
"Now there is more friendship, more collaboration, a more open dialogue, and I am very optimistic about the future, from this point of view," Archbishop Raphael Minassian, the Armenian Ordinary of Eastern Europe, told CNA.
The archbishop will be at the Pope's side during his journey to Armenia, fifteen years after St. John Paul II visited in 2001.
Armenia's national church is the Armenian Apostolic Church, an Oriental Orthodox Church to which 93 percent of the population belongs. Armenia prides itself on having been the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, which it did in the year 301.