Christian heritage to be protected in liberated territories

Holy Myrrhbearers Cathedral
Holy Myrrhbearers Cathedral

In a recent telephone conversation with Ilham Aliyev, Vladimir Putin, in particular, drew attention to the fact that Christian churches and monasteries are located in the regions that are being returned to Azerbaijan following the trilateral declaration. In this regard, Putin stressed the importance of ensuring the safety and regular service of these shrines. The President of Azerbaijan expressed understanding and said that the Azerbaijani side would act accordingly.

Speaking in the Solovyev.LIVE program, the editor-in-chief of First News Media, Rahman Hajiyev, stressed that the attitude towards Christian churches and shrines in Azerbaijan is unambiguous, and it has been repeatedly expressed by Ilham Aliyev. There are Christian churches in Baku - both Orthodox and Catholic. The people of Azerbaijan have always treated different confessions and nationalities with great respect. Hajiyev complained that now, in the territories liberated by the Azerbaijani army, Armenian nationalists are dismantling crosses from churches, allegedly fearing that something will happen to them. Recall, that earlier they desecrated mosques, arranging barns in them.

Azerbaijan, for its part, has always done a great job of protecting and restoring architectural monuments belonging to different religious denominations. According to the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, over the past two decades, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Holy Myrrhbearers Cathedral), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Savior, the Russian Alexander Nevsky Church in Ganja were repaired at the expense of the state, a religious and cultural center of the Baku and Azerbaijan Diocese was built. Thus, within the framework of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s project ”Azerbaijan - the address of tolerance”, the Albanian-Udi Chotari Church in Gabala, the Orthodox Church in Baku were repaired, the Church of Virgin Mary was built in Baku. In 2020, within the framework of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s project, the Albanian Church of the Holy Virgin Mary located in Nij village, Gabala region, was thoroughly restored. In the center of Baku, the Azerbaijani state restored and handed over the Armenian Church for free use.

Azerbaijan has made a significant contribution to the protection of the Christian heritage not only in the country but throughout the world. With the support of the state, the Catacombs of San Sebastiano in the Vatican were restored; within the framework of the Bilateral Agreement on the Restoration of the Roman Catacombs signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Holy See, the Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter in Rome were restored; at the initiative of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, on the occasion of the 1025th Anniversary of the Christianization of Rus’ and 455th anniversary of the city of Astrakhan, the Saint Vladimir Monument was erected on the square in front of St Vladimir’s Church.

Assistance was provided for the restoration of seven 10th-12th-century churches in the settlements of Santia, La Fresnaye-au-Sauvage, Saint-Hilaire-la-Gerard, Tanville, Courjust, Reveillon and Mal in the French department of Orne.

Baku assures that in the liberated territories, along with Muslim monuments, the Christian heritage will be protected, restored and handed over for free use, regardless of its origin.

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