Author: Natig NAZIMOGHLU
During the Second Garabagh War, Armenia resorted to all kinds of intrigues to get direct support of the world's largest powers in order to avoid a military defeat, and thanks to external forces patronizing it, to continue the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories!
Perhaps the most iniquitous act of this kind was the attempt to impart a religious hue to the military operation of Azerbaijan. However, like other motives devised to ‘refine’ the Armenian aggression, it was a complete failure. Because there is no way to challenge the indisputable fact that Azerbaijan is a secular country with rich multicultural heritage.
Albanian heritage and Armenian plunder
The historical and cultural heritage of Albania, which existed on the territory of Azerbaijan in the ancient period and early Middle Ages, is the property of the Azerbaijani people. Christian monuments constitute a significant part of the Albanian heritage. Since Azerbaijani Albania (to distinguish this ancient state from Balkan Albania, it is more correct to use “Azerbaijani” instead of the amorphous definition of “Caucasian” as a more precise and specific one. Author) was the first state in the world to give Christianity the status of an official religion. All monuments of early Christianity in Azerbaijan are related to Albania, created by the Albanians, who are one of the ancestors of the Azerbaijani people. There are hundreds of Albanian churches in various districts of Azerbaijan with more than 300 in Garabagh alone. However, the Armenians, trying to prove their rights to Garabagh, use the centuries-old experience of appropriating others’ heritage. Due to various political and cultural reasons of the past, this heritage has become affected by the Armenian Church, yet it has not lost its originality and independence. But with one stroke of the pen of the Russian Emperor Nicholas I, the Albanian Apostolic Church was abolished and transferred to the Armenian Gregorian Church, which made the entire rich cultural and religious heritage of Albanians their hostage. Since that time, the Armenians have openly destroyed the Albanian heritage, primarily the churches, and armenianized the Albanian culture.
The occupation of Daghlig Garabagh and the adjacent territories in 1991-1993 provided a wide open window of opportunities for such destructive activities. A vivid example of Armenian vandalism is the destruction of various religious artefacts in monasteries of the Kalbajar district. After the liberation of Kalbajar in accordance with the November 10 trilateral agreement, it became known that all these years the Armenian occupants worked hard to ‘refine’ the monuments of Albanian religious architecture the Armenian way, exported books, icons and other Albanian Christian values to Armenia.
Udis against counterfeiters
One of the direct heirs of the Albanian Christian culture are the Udis, one of the indigenous peoples of Azerbaijan. It is the Udi community that plays an active role in the revival of the Albanian Apostolic Church, which marks the restoration of historical justice. Remarkably, after the liberation of Kalbajar, an Udi priest became the preacher of the Khudavang monastery. Armenian priests tried hysterically to prevent the representatives of the Udi clergy from rendering divine services in Khudavang. Although the Armenian ‘holy fathers’ received permission from Azerbaijan to visit the monastery, they demonstrated hatred of the religious and cultural heritage of their neighbours, which is inappropriate to the clergy. Their attempts to prevent the visit of the leaders of the Albano-Udi Christian community in Khudavang speak volumes.
The falsifiers from the Armenian Church, who have produced a horde of fakes for almost 30 years since the occupation of Garabagh to convince the world community of the Armenian ownership of the Albanian churches, now realize the failure of their lies. The triumph of historical truth is inevitable, and Khudavang, like hundreds of other Christian churches of Garabagh, returns to its true creator and owner - the people of Azerbaijan.
As for the Armenian priests, their moral character is beyond any doubt. For centuries, the Armenian Church has inspired and implemented the aggressive policy of Armenian expansionism. The consequences of this policy have once again led the lost Gregorian flock to a humiliating defeat in the fall of 2020. Hatred of neighbours, terror, massacres of peaceful Azerbaijanis and Turks are just an incomplete list of ‘deeds’ done by the ‘ancient Armenian people’, which gave birth to the werewolves in church robes to be inspired by them later. The Armenian Church was one of the direct instigators of the Garabagh conflict. Instead of preaching peace and harmony, it called for war and aggression, the annihilation of peoples it considered an obstacle to building the mythical Great Armenia.
Should we be surprised at the infidel images of the gun-toting Armenian priests ready to kill innocent people for the triumph of a misanthropic ideology of the Great Armenia? Not only the falsified historical artefacts, but also the temples turned into military warehouses are the hallmark of the Armenian Church well-known for a long record of all mortal sins it has committed in the past. The Armenian clergy, who openly participated in committing war crimes against the Azerbaijani people, after the devastating defeat of Armenia in the Second Garabagh War, continue to openly declare revenge. Undoubtedly, this robber den will continue its active role of the preacher of hate between peoples.
In fact, Azerbaijan and Turkey are not the only victims of the malicious acts of the Armenian Church. Its carnivory appetite is well known in the neighbouring Georgia, whose material and spiritual culture (over 600 Georgian churches) has been a constant target of the infamous Armenian neighbours, let alone the annual clashes triggered by the Armenian-Gregorian priests to humiliate fellow believers from other confessions in the sacred city Jerusalem! With all this in mind, how can we rate the efforts of certain global opinion-makers trying to promote the false idea of the religious nature of the Garabagh war?
Worthless resolutions cannot prevent the revival
The infamous resolution on “the protection of the Armenian people and Christian communities of Europe and the East” recently adopted by the French National Assembly recently, as well as other anti-Azerbaijani resolutions are an example of biased approaches based on lies, political and cultural manipulations that, unfortunately, become popular at international level. The authors of these documents do not just distort history, ignoring the fact that the Christian monuments of Garabagh are in fact Albanian. They cynically prefer not to notice the crimes of the Armenian military during the occupation of Garabagh, including the destruction of monuments of Azerbaijani and Islamic culture.
For 30 years, Armenia has pursued the same criminal policy on the occupied lands of Azerbaijan that has been implemented for many decades on the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Almost all mosques, as well as the hundreds of Islamic religious monuments that existed on the historical Azerbaijani lands of Iravan and Zangezur at the end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th centuries have been destroyed. All local evidence of the Azerbaijani statehood, including the citadel, fortresses and magnificent palaces of the period of the Iravan Khanate, have been wiped off too. Could we expect mercy from the perpetrators of such a vandal policy towards the monuments of Azerbaijani culture in the occupied territories?
The answer to the above question is obvious, although the powerful patrons of Armenians try to avoid it as usual because of the widely practised double standards. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan, unlike Armenia, traditionally demonstrates respect to multicultural ideals, protecting the temples of all religions, including Christian churches and monasteries, on its territory. For centuries, these temples towered on Azerbaijani soil, until the Armenian invaders began destroying them, using them as objects of manipulation and falsification. Even when they were leaving the occupied Kalbajar, they continued, in hopeless despair, to cause damage to all living and non-living things on this Azerbaijani land. That’s how the Armenians settled scores with the Khudavang monastery. It lost many slabs, stones and bricks ‘thanks to’ the vandalism of those who diligently tried to convince the world of their veneration of this temple...
But, fortunately, the tragic page in the history of Garabagh and its shrines is closed. Azerbaijan will restore all historical and cultural monuments that have suffered the acts of vandalism over the 30-year Armenian occupation. From now on, all religious sites, mosques and churches of Garabagh - the heritage of the great culture of the Azerbaijani people - are under reliable protection.
Azerbaijan makes a great contribution to the dialogue of civilizations. Not only Azerbaijan protects its culture with care, but it also is actively involved in the restoration of religious monuments of other countries. In particular, Azerbaijan has provided funds to rescue the Vatican catacombs and the churches of France. Azerbaijan presents itself as an unconditional guarantor of the masterpieces of Albanian Christian churches on its territory. These temples are part of our rich cultural heritage, which do not need any false care by certain interested parties worldwide.