Azerbaijan Ignores UNESCO Request to Protect Churches and Monasteries

December 27, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Azerbaijan: We have previously reported here at about the targeting of the Armenian cathedral in Nagorno-Karabakh and other churches, and its systematic erasure of its Christian past, which recalls its ally Turkey’s contempt for its own Christian history. In Turkey, as well as all over the Middle East and in Central Asia, one principal manifestation of this contempt is the fact that there are mosques built on the former sites of Christian churches, and most notoriously, world-renowned churches that have been converted to mosques, such as Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora. All this is part of an ongoing attempt in both Azerbaijan and Turkey to efface all traces of the Christian presence, so as to give the impression that no Christians ever lived in a particular area from which they were been driven out, and no injustice was actually done.

This is one reason why it is so important for Christians and all people of good will to preserve historical memories of the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian genocides of the early twentieth centuries, and all other incidents of the persecution of Christians throughout history.

For more coverage of the persecution of Christians in and by Azerbaijan, see here.

“Azerbaijan Ignores UNESCO Request,” International Christian Concern, December 23, 2020:

12/23/2020 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – UNESCO has released a statement that they have made proposals to organize a mission into Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh), something which requires the agreement of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. The purpose of this mission is to create an inventory of significant cultural properties so that they can be protected following the conflict initiated by Azerbaijan into Nagorno-Karabakh. However, UNESCO states that they cannot begin this mission since Azerbaijan has failed to respond to the request.

Nagorno-Karabakh is historically Armenian Christian, and those cultural sites referred to by UNESCO are churches, monasteries, khachkars, and other similar sites of significance to Christianity. Azerbaijan’s invasion into Nagorno-Karabakh was supported by Turkey and included destruction of many of these sites….

It is also noteworthy that the invasion by Azerbaijan and Turkey into Nagorno-Karabakh included this kind of destruction. It gives further evidence of the religious elements which motivate pan-Islamic Turkism against the local Armenian Christian community.