The foundation stone was laid at the weekend, and the sanctification ceremony held, for an Armenian church of the Holy Martyrs in Kashatagh, in the Lachin corridor. To be built at the initiative of the Self-Determination Union led by Parvir Hairikian, the church honors fighters from Karabakh and from Armenia proper who were killed in Lachin during the war with Azerbaijan. The corridor, a part of Azerbaijan proper, forms a land bridge between Karabakh and Armenia and is considered by both a nonnegotiable gain of war. The construction of several more Armenian churches is planned in the corridor.
Last week, the Holy Savior Church in Shusha was solemnly reopened and sanctified in the presence of the entire Karabakh government, many officials from Armenia proper, and diaspora representatives who financed the reconstruction. The monumental church had been desecrated during the Soviet period. Shusha was Karabakh’s largest Azeri-populated town before the war. Reconstruction work is being completed at a score of other churches in Karabakh that had been closed and desecrated by the Soviet Azerbaijani authorities. The activity is geared to the upcoming 1700th anniversary of Armenia’s adoption of Christianity as the state religion. (Noyan-Tapan, July 23, 31)
AZERBAIJANI AUTHORITIES MAKE CAUTIOUS OVERTURE TO ISLAM.