OCP News Service – 11/9/21
Yerevan- Armenia: The two-day conference on ‘International Religious Freedom and Peace’ was half at the Ceremony Hall of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin in Yerevan, Armenia from the 9th of September to the 10th of September 2021. It was initiated by the Center of the Mother See and the Committee for the Preservation of Artsakh’s Cultural and Cultural Heritage.
In his speech, Catholics-Patriarch Karekin II stated that “The ideas of freedom and peace are the same as in the history of mankind and continue to be relevant today, especially when the existence of violence, conflicts and wars in different parts of the world is often tried to justify with false agendas of freedom or peace. Forced peace, without justice, breeds pain and suffering instead of good, brings hatred and enmity in human life. Despite the universal realization and aspiration of the need for freedom and peace, violence, wars, ethnic-ethnic hatred, and worldwide crimes based on them have not been overcome in the world to this day. Moreover, such actions continue to be carried out using the latest modern scientific and technical achievements. Our people have suffered the consequences of the violation of freedom and ethnic hatred. Such tragic events took place in the life of our people at the beginning of the 20th century, when one and a half million Armenians fell victim to the Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. The Armenian people suffered the greatest loss, losing their historical homeland. The indifference to the first genocide in the history of mankind and the delay in the application of legal measures led to other genocides, crimes against humanity, the tragic consequences of which were the Holocaust in the middle of the last century, the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur during the late 20th century.
The Catholicos further stated that “We faced such tragic events only recently when a large-scale war was unleashed by Azerbaijan against our people living in Artsakh. During the hostilities, which involved the Turkish Armed Forces and international terrorist groups, phosphorus was used, as well as other banned weapons, against civilians and civilians. Thousands of people died and became disabled as a result of these tragic events, settlements were destroyed, tens of thousands of families became refugees, many of them, both military and civilian, were taken captive even after the hostilities. The bombing and destruction of sanctuaries during the war, which took place after the war, testify to Azerbaijan’s policy of erasing the Armenian trace from Artsakh, as in 2003. More than 6,000 khachkars of the Armenian cemetery in Jugha were completely destroyed, and the area was turned into a shooting range. Memories are still fresh of the destruction of cultural monuments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Egypt in recent decades as a result of hostilities. In this regard, the concrete efforts of the international community and relevant organizations to prevent cultural genocide are essential to ensure the protection of religious and cultural monuments.
It is imperative that the UNESCO expert mission assesses the condition of the Armenian cultural heritage in the territories under the control of Azerbaijan, which is obstructed in every way by Azerbaijan. In addition, it should be noted that with the efforts of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Russia, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the Russian peacekeeping forces, it was possible to ensure the vital activity of our ancient historical sanctuary of Dadivank, where six monks are serving today”.
A large number of scholars, human rights activists, researchers, representatives of various cultural and scientific organizations, and clergy from various Christian denominations participated and spoke at the event
OCP News Service