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01/26/2022 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – Azerbaijan continues to prevent Armenian pilgrims from visiting the Dadivank Monastery, were Christians seeking to visit have been banned since May. Five clergymen remain at the monastery, with Russian peacekeepers staying nearby.

For months, the monks have carried out their activities and purposes in the presence of the peacekeepers, including prayer, conducting services, and celebrating liturgies.  The Primate of the Artsakh Diocese, Bishop Vrtanes Abrahamyan, commented that it was unclear why Azerbaijan continues to forbid visitors as the area is not in a forbidden zone. He said, He said, “[The Azerbaijanis] do not permit it, and that is it, without reason. They do not say anything. The peacekeepers are in the territory of the monastery. They live together. Of course, the rooms are different. They are separated: they are military, while the clergymen perform spiritual service. What the Azerbaijani side thinks is a secondary question. We are doing what we have to do.”

Armenians fondly recall the times of baptisms, blessings, and larger corporate worship at Dadivank. Now, like many other cultural and physical aspects of life in and near Artsakh, visitation to Dadivank Monastery is but a memory. Azerbaijani aggression has limited the way of Armenian life and Christian culture.

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