Azeri Vandalism to Armenian Church Incites Plea for Protection
03/29/2021 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – Recent satellite and video footage reveals the partial destruction of Shushi’s Armenian Kanach Zham Church. The city and church now remain under Azeri control. In light of the most recent damaged church, the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) called for the protection of Christian monuments in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Satellite photos taken four months apart, one in October 2020 and one in February 2021, show the church domes completely destroyed. Saint John the Baptist Church, also known as Kanach Zham, reportedly faced partial demolition by Azeri troops just days after Shushi came under their control.
This vandalism against Armenian Christian heritage sites adds to the list including Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Shushi, St. Astvatsatsin Church of Mekhakavan, and others. President Alivey also identified a 12th-century Armenian church to be an Albanian church and expressed his intentions to renovate it.
The IAO Secretary General said in a statement that the Armenian Christians sites now under Azeri control required “immediate registration and protection from the international community and the competent international bodies. We therefore, call on the UN and UNESCO to contribute to the protection of the cultural wealth and monuments of the Armenian people, now under the administration of Azerbaijan and not to allow changes in their use or destruction.”
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