Azerbaijan Threatens to Destroy 19th-Century Armenian Church in Nagorno-Karabakh

July 27, 2021

The targeting of Taghavard’s St. Astvatsatsin Church and other churches as well is consistent with Azerbiajan’s erasure of its Christian past, and 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 Azerbaijan, see here.

“Armenian Church Threatened in Nagorno-Karabakh,” International Christian Concern, July 25, 2021:

07/25/2021 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – Holy Mother of God Church (St. Astvatsatsin) is being threatened with destruction, located in Taghavard, Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh). In just over one month, between June 10 and July 12, a large swath of the village was destroyed. The current bulldozed section reaches just outside the church.

St. Astvatsatsin Church was built in 1840 and was a Christian heritage site for the Armenian population prior to the fall 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war….

St. Astbatsatsin is one of several historic Armenian churches facing potential destruction in Artsakh, including Ghazanchetsots cathedral, after Azeri forces began to clear the region of any Christian history.