An international conference titled “International Religious Freedom and Peace: Challenges against the spiritual and cultural heritage of Artsakh” was held on 9-10 September 2021

The international Conference on “International Religious Freedom and Peace” was held at the Ceremony Hall of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin organized on the initiative of His Holiness Garegin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Preaching Center of the Mother See and the Office for Spiritual-Cultural Heritage of Artsakh. The members of the Mother See, representatives of Sister Churches, Christian organizations, scholars and public figures from Armenia and other countries participated in the conference.

The aim of the conference was to bring together religious leaders, clergy, scholars and experts from around the world to discuss the issues and challenges of religious freedom and peace, as well as the dangers posed to the world’s spiritual and cultural heritage during the armed conflict. Hayastan Martirosyan, a junior researcher at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, “Department of the Study of the Oppression of the Armenians of Artsakh, Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan” was among the conference attendees.

During the conference, the attention of those present was drawn to the Azerbaijani-Artsakh war (September 27 to November 9, 2021) during and after which, the Azerbaijani armed forces bombed, destroyed and vandalized the cultural monuments of Artsakh, which belong not only to the Armenian people but also to the world cultural heritage. After the war, concerns about the Armenian heritage of Artsakh have been raised more apparently, taking into account the cultural genocide already perpetrated by Azerbaijan against the rich Armenian heritage of Nakhichevan.

The International Conference on “International Religious Freedom and Peace” subsequently adopted a communiqué calling on the Government of Azerbaijan to immediately and unimpededly allow international experts and observers to enter the territories of Artsakh/Nagorno-Kharabagh recently occupied by Azerbaijan, Nakhichevan and other parts of Azerbaijan in order to conduct independent assessments and called on to make the UNESCO mission as an urgent priority, etc.

After the conference, the participants visited the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial, the Armenian Genocide Museum, Matenadaran and the museums of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.


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