December 13, 2022

Azerbaijan Desecrates Armenian Cultural and Religious Heritage

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by Uzay Bulut, Research Fellow

Since Azerbaijan’s aggressive war against Artsakh in 2020, considerable damage has deliberately been caused by the government of Azerbaijan against the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian republic in the South Caucuses.

Many Armenian monuments in the region came under Azerbaijan’s control after the ceasefire of November 9, 2020 after Azerbaijan captured much of Artsakh and occupied those territories. Azerbaijani soldiers and mercenaries have since destroyed or vandalized many Armenian religious and cultural heritage sites. This includes Armenian cemeteries and religious artifacts, such as the “khachkars” or “cross-stones”.

In March 2021, BBC reported that an Armenian Church – the Church of Zoravor Surb Astvatsatsin (Mother of God) located in Mekhakavan – that fell into Azeri control following the invasion of Artsakh was completely destroyed. “Azerbaijan has said ethnic Armenians are welcome to stay in Nagorno-Karabakh but Armenia has accused it of damaging and destroying Armenian cultural heritage left behind in the region, including churches and monuments,” the BBC wrote…