A video appeared, showing an Azeri Islamist, or possibly a pro-Turkish terrorist standing on the top of an Armenian church, destroying its cross. It is still unclear where exactly the video was taken, but it’s certainly in southern Artsakh, occupied by the invading Azeri troops. The rest of Artsakh is still under Armenian and Russian control, so it couldn’t have been taken in those areas.
However, this does raise questions of the fate of other Christian religious sites in areas that are or will come under Azeri occupation. If horrifying war crimes committed by Azeri troops and pro-Turkish terrorist allies against Armenian civilians and captured (or killed) soldiers are taken into account, the fate of Armenia’s ancient and Christian legacy, which predates the existence of Azeris for thousands of years, looks rather grim.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, on Saturday to take care of Christian shrines in parts of Artsakh that Azerbaijan is taking control over from the Armenian administration. Putin told Aliyev that there were many Christian churches and monasteries in areas that will go under Azerbaijani control.
The Kremlin declared: “In this respect, he (Putin) underscored the importance of securing safety and normal church life of these shrines.”
Initially, Aliyev said that this is how Azerbaijan will act. However, despite this discussion, an Islamist in Artsakh climbed on a church shouting “Allah hu Akbar” (Allah is Great) and other Islamist slogans, which are repeated by his fellow Islamists in the video.
Unfortunately, it is now clear how much Azerbaijan will respect Armenian Christian monuments.
This is most definitely not the only instance of Islamic terrorists destroying Christian shrines and trying to wipe out Christian legacy in an area which they conquered from indigenous Christians. This has been the case in the Middle East, but also in Europe. Turkish aggression had similar consequences for the ancient Greek Orthodox legacy in Cyprus, as well as in the NATO-supported Albanian terrorist takeover of the Serbian province of Kosovo.