Azerbaijani occupiers desecrated the grave of the first bishop of Caucasian Albania

The sacred remnants of history bear silent witness to the rich heritage of a nation. One such relic, which spoke volumes of the Christian legacy of Caucasian Albania, recently became the subject of desecration.

The tombstone of St. Gregory Catholicos of Albania stands as a testament to the region’s early Christian roots. St. Gregory, the first bishop of Caucasian Albania, wasn’t just an ordinary figure in the annals of ecclesiastical history. He bore a legacy as the grandson of Gregory the Illuminator, a pivotal figure in Armenian history renowned for converting Armenia to Christianity.

Located in the historically significant Amaras Monastery, this tombstone had endured the ravages of time, bearing silent testament to centuries of faith, resilience, and historical evolution. However, recent photographs reveal a distressing narrative.

Renowned Orientalist, Professor Victoria Arakelova, took it upon herself to showcase the alarming transformation the tombstone underwent post the incursion of Azerbaijani forces in Artsakh. Her comparative photographs, depicting the tombstone both before and after the intervention, are stark in their contrast. The once intricately detailed tombstone now lies in fragments, a sad reflection of the disrespect meted out to historical and religious landmarks.

This incident is more than just an act of desecration. It symbolizes the continuous challenges faced by cultural and historical sites worldwide, where the scars of contemporary conflicts overshadow ancient legacies. The destruction of such sites is not just a loss for a particular community or country but a loss for humanity as a whole.

The hope remains that instances like these lead to stronger international efforts to safeguard our shared heritage, ensuring that future generations can glean insights from these silent stone narrators of history.

Image Source: Tigran Avakian

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