Azeri Vandalism to Armenian Church Incites Plea for Protection

April 1, 2021

The targeting of Shushi’s Armenian Kanach Zham 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.

“Azeri Vandalism to Armenian Church Incites Plea for Protection,” International Christian Concern, March 29, 2021:

03/29/2021 Nagorno-Karabakh (International Christian Concern) –  Recent satellite and video footage reveals the partial destruction of Shushi’s Armenian Kanach Zham Church. The city and church now remain under Azeri control. In light of the most recent damaged church, the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) called for the protection of Christian monuments in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Satellite photos taken four months apart, one in October 2020 and one in February 2021, show the church domes completely destroyed. Saint John the Baptist Church, also known as Kanach Zham, reportedly faced partial demolition by Azeri troops just days after Shushi came under their control.

This vandalism against Armenian Christian heritage sites adds to the list including Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Shushi, St. Astvatsatsin Church of Mekhakavan, and others. President Alivey also identified a 12th-century Armenian church to be an Albanian church and expressed his intentions to renovate it….

Photo by Voskanyan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,