TCA Issues Appeal to Catholicoi on Azerbaijani Monument Destruction


His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians

His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia

Our homeland and entire nation emerged wounded from the disastrous 44-day war and while with the forces of the entire nation we prepared to recover from the consequences of the existential war, Azerbaijan’s authorities unfurled a new challenge before our people, transferring the war of genocide to the realm of genocide of spiritual culture.

Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II

Throughout the years of Soviet rule, Azerbaijan waged an indirect campaign to destroy the Armenian churches and monuments in Nakhichevan, leading to the 2005 mass destruction of Armenian khachkars [cross stones] in Julfa.

Today, however, the genocide of cultural heritage is elevated to an official level. Last year’s ruling in the court of The Hague, warning the Azerbaijani authorities to spare the monuments of Armenian spiritual culture in the territories under their control, has led the latter to more cunning measures. From President Ilham Aliyev to Minister of Culture Anar Karimov, they have launched a campaign to re-label the monuments of Armenian spiritual culture, and concealing their true identities, attribute them to the Udi and Caucasian Albanian minorities.

This act is a classic distortion of history and reveals a new challenge for our nation to commence not only a pan-Armenian but a global battle urgently, as time is working against us.

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Taking into consideration that the Armenian spiritual heritage is the target of today’s challenge, the responsibility of initiating the campaign necessarily falls on the shoulders of our spiritual leaders. Just as we welcomed the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Pope in the Vatican in 2015 with the spirit of national unity, it is expected that you initiate the current struggle for survival with the same exemplary unity.

You, as wise spiritual leaders of the Armenians, can naturally come up with a special road map. Below, we humbly present our suggestions that can be implemented in support of your decisions:

Catholicos of the Great See of Cilicia Aram I

1) Release a joint declaration, creating a pressing atmosphere on the issue among Armenians around the world, as well as within the international community, including in your campaign the leaders of the Catholic Armenians as well as the Armenian Evangelical Church.

2) Armed with serious historical information, personally appear before UNESCO, giving a warning to the international press and revealing the reality and the scope of the danger.

3) Simultaneously, apply to the World Council of Churches, the Pope in Rome, and other world religious authorities, providing them with scholarly documentation, maps, and historical evidence.

4) Instruct all the dioceses under your jurisdiction to alert their own communities first and then turn to sister communities to obtain support. It is clear that not every diocese and parish has the opportunity to prepare documents and reasoning at the scholarly level. Therefore, as initiating patriarchs, the scholarly bodies of your sees can provide the above data.

The Tekeyan Cultural Association, as a pan-national organization dedicated to Armenian culture, is extremely concerned about the current situation and humbly appeals to you with its pan-national bodies, hoping to see a mass mobilization to halt the threat of catastrophe.


Respectfully bringing the aforementioned to your attention, we remain,

Tekeyan Cultural Association Founders Body, Beirut, Lebanon

Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada

Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of Armenia

Tekeyan Cultural Association London Trust

Central Board of the Tekeyan Cultural Association of South America, Buenos Aires

February 12, 2022

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