Azerbaijani authorities have intensified animosity towards the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church. Arman Tatoyan

  • 23.08.2023
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The Azerbaijani authorities have intensified animosity towards the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church, declaring it the 5th column, a preacher of revanchism and war, against which they must fight.

Armenian Catholicoses and the Mother See of Holy Exhmiaszin, large monastic complexes and churches, for example, Noravank, Haghartsin, Geghardavank, are especially targeted. They even changed the name of Etchmiadzin.

All this is widely presented as Azerbaijani, more specifically, Albanian or Udi monuments. This policy targets churches [built, operating or not operating] in Armenia or Artsakh.

Destroyed or partially destroyed Armenian churches are presented as Azerbaijani cultural monuments destroyed by Armenians.

This is directly aimed at the elimination of ethnic Armenian identity.

All this is done within the framework of the false concept of “Western Azerbaijan”, which means the entire Armenia.

This false concept also states that Armenia is obliged to “restore and protect the destroyed cultural heritage of Azerbaijan as a precondition for reconciliation”. Under this outwardly humanitarian demand for the outside world, the Azerbaijani government is actually pursuing completely different goals.

From these positions, Azerbaijan regularly comes out with aggressive rhetoric, trying to discredit the Armenian church, accusing Armenia of “appropriating” the Albanian or Udi churches.

The Azerbaijan authorities are making efforts not only inside the country, but also abroad to inflame religious animosity towards Armenians.

The president of Azerbaijan has several times called on the Muslim world to take revenge on Armenians and Armenia, accusing our people of Islamophobia with absolute falsehood.

This call is, in fact, an aggressive Azerbaijani attack on the entire Christian community.

In fact, Armenians have been living as friends with many peoples of the world who profess Islam for centuries.

All this is documented with evidence in our special reports and presented to the international community.

Arman Tatoyan

Former Human Rights Defender of Armenia

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