Author: Fuad AKHUNDOV, political scientist
The suicide bombing of imam of one of the mosques in Spain as part of the large-scale terrorist attacks planned in Catalonia recalled a similar bombing event that happened in Azerbaijan in the late 1980s carried out by a priest of the Armenian church. But if the whole world knows about the case with the imam, nobody has ever heard about the case with the Armenian priest, even in the USSR.
"Speaking" last name
Once I was looking through the reports of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on incidents of nationally motivated violence and I came across the name of Stepan Davtyan, an Armenian priest detained in Baku in the late 1980s with a dagger and Molotov cocktail. His last name was very familiar and reminded me someone else. I had to clarify the initials only. But it did not took me long to think about it. I recalled that someone also called Davtyan killed himself when he was trying to blow up the Monument of Friendship in Gazakh region of Azerbaijan. I found out that it was the same person. But if there were notes about the suicide-bomber Armenian priest in Gazakh only in the republican newspapers, the previous act of Davtyan was kept as a super-secret - that was the order of the then head of Azerbaijan SSR, Abdurrahman Vezirov.
But why? What prompted the leader of Azerbaijan to cover the criminal attempt of the Armenian terrorist? Why was the armed cleric preparing the blast immediately released? It was necessary to open this veil of secrecy.
The church supporting the terror
I later found out other interesting details in the Ministerial reports. It turned out that the Catholicos of all Armenians Vazgen I has applied to Vezirov for pardon of Stepan Davtyan. Support and inspiration to terror are typical features of the Armenian Church.
No one requested to pardon the imam of the Spanish mosque, since everyone condemns terrorism and the actions of imam in the Islamic world. On the contrary, the head of Echmiadzin has personally applied for release of Davtyan. Of course, not without the treacherous connivance of Vezirov.
It is unknown how many such appeals were made by the later rector of the Makaravan monastery Father Stepan, but his trip to Gazakh became his last mission from Vazgen.
We included the episode with the Armenian priest Davtyan in our book "The Undeclared War", which was published in 1991 in Baku.
Incidentally, shortly before the publication, a large arsenal of weapons was found in the church of the Armenian village Kylichbak of Askeran region of Karabakh: 6 mortars, 16 self-made mines, 130 artisanal hand grenades, 7 grenades for grenade launchers, two batteries for radio units. It is clear that Father Stepan also armed himself in his own church. A good mission for the servants of God?
It is also worth recalling that Echmiadzin has been known for illegal, anti-state and terrorist actions in the Tsarist Russia. A large number of researchers, including members of the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, politicians, pointed to these facts. In particular, the American historian Paul Werth wrote that the Echmiadzin Catholicos used Russia's international political levers and skillfully blackmailed them by the autocracy. As a result, in 1903, Echmiadzin was disbanded, and property was confiscated.
In other words, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Armenian Church was an advocate of anti-state actions and terrorism, and the tsarist authorities, knowing the danger of such actions, banned it.
By the way, one of the reasons for this decision was the discovery of large arsenals of weapons in Armenian churches. Therefore, it was not surprising to find weapons in Askeran and other Armenian churches by the end of the last century. Even the missionaries of the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA were hiding in in Armenian churches during the Soviet times.
Today, Armenian terrorism continues to threaten peace. It is not about the actions of individual fanatical individuals or fragmentary manifestations of terrorism. It is about the web of terror cunningly knit around the world and patronized by Echmiadzin.