Fortune-telling: The interview of Father Nerses Asryan
Father Nerses Asryan answers the question of the "Azat Artsakh" newspaper.
— Father, there are people who continue to believe in fortune-telling. These individuals also receive visitors in rooms adorned with icons and holy scriptures. Some fortune-tellers advise them to go to church and burn candle. Do you not think that this is a dangerous path leading to harmful consequences? How can we open people's eyes so that they do not fall into the trap of superstitious beliefs?
— Irrespective of the era and the level of human development, there have always been numerous individuals inclined towards superstition, granting significant importance to their belief in fortune-tellers and divination. Fortune-tellers, in turn, naturally adapt to the prevailing conditions and environment, presenting themselves in a manner that elicits the most favorable reception. This is achieved through the formal utilization of spiritual symbols and rituals, which intensifies people's delusions and becomes an additional factor leading them further into the intricate web spun by fortune-tellers.
As for opening people's eyes, it is important to first understand the reasons that drive individuals to seek satisfaction for their unhealthy curiosity through divination. Among the main reasons, we can identify a lack of spiritual knowledge and/or a weakness and superficiality of faith. Often, people are simply unaware and fail to realize that engaging in such practices is unacceptable and a sin, making them vulnerable to deception and evil influences. Even when individuals are somewhat aware of the inappropriateness of their actions, they may still succumb to the temptation of consulting fortune-tellers. It is worth noting that among these individuals, there are those who consider themselves believers, attend church, participate in religious ceremonies, and engage in spiritual practices. However, since much of it remains superficial (as exemplified by the popular phrase "I have my god" used by some in vague expressions), their faith does not provide a sufficient foundation to refrain from taking actions that contradict the principles of their belief. Therefore, to answer the question concisely, one of the primary tasks is to enhance people's spiritual knowledge and deepen and strengthen their Orthodox faith.