By Laman Ismayilova
The Ministry of Culture has released a statement on the protection of the Christian religious heritage in Azerbaijan.
For centuries, representatives of all nations and religions have lived peacefully in Azerbaijan, a multicultural and multi-confessional country.
The large Christian community in Azerbaijan is an integral and active part of the country’s society, and their monuments, places of worship, and churches are fully protected by the Azerbaijani state and are regularly restored. It is no coincidence that during his visit to Azerbaijan in October 2016, Pope Francis named Azerbaijan a role model country of religious tolerance for the whole world.
The assessment of material and cultural heritage, the restoration, and reconstruction of historical and religious monuments, including churches and synagogues, is an integral part of the policy pursued by the Azerbaijani state in this area.
"Over the past 20 years, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Cathedral of the Holy Myrrh-Bearing Women), the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Savior, and the Russian Orthodox Church of Alexander Nevsky in Ganja have been repaired at the expense of the state. A religious and cultural centre of the Baku and Azerbaijani dioceses were built as well.
The renovation of Albano-Udi Chotari Church in Gabala, the Orthodox Church in Baku as well as the construction of Church of St. Mary in Baku were carried out within the project "Address of Tolerance -Azerbaijan" initiated by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
In 2020, within the project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Albanian Church of the Holy Virgin Mary in Gabala's Nij village was thoroughly restored. Moreover, the Azerbaijani state restored and handed over for free use of the Armenian Church in Baku.
Azerbaijan has contributed to the protection of the Christian heritage not only in the country but throughout the world.
With the support of the state, the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian in the Vatican were restored. In addition, the catacombs of Saint Marcellin and Pietro in Rome were restored within the "Bilateral agreement on the restoration of the Roman catacombs" signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Holy See.
The Culture Ministry also touched upon the erection of Prince Vladimir on the square in front of the Church of Saint Vladimir by the initiative of President Ilham Aliyev and with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
The monument was erected on the occasion of the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Russia and the 455th anniversary of Astrakhan.
Moreover, assistance was provided in the restoration of seven churches related to the 10th-12th centuries in the settlements of Santia, Fresne-au-Sauvay, Saint-Hilaire-la-Gerard, Tanville, Courjust, Revoyon, and Mal in the French department of Orne.
Along with the Muslim monuments in the liberated territories, the Christian heritage, regardless of its origin, will be protected, restored and put into operation at a high level.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993
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