By Laman Ismayilova
The Azerbaijani Culture Ministry has launched a new project aimed at promoting the country's Christian heritage.
The short video clips about praying-houses, churches and chapels related to the Christian religion and protected by the state have been released as part of the project "Let’s acquaint with our Christian heritage".
The first video clip is dedicated to the Albanian Kish temple in Sheki's Kish village.
For centuries, the church functioned as a spiritual centre and place for enlightenment for many people.
The current building of the temple of Saint Elisha was built in the 10-12th centuries. Some scholars suggest that the church in Kish stands on the same place where St. Elisha founded his own church. That is why the temple in Kish is often referred to as one of the oldest spiritual centres in the Caucasus since St. Elisha was the first patriarch of the Church of Caucasian Albania and an early Christian leader in the Caucasus.
This temple attracted famous Norwegian explorer and scientist Thor Heyerdahl in 2000. The study, the restoration and the conversion of the ancient church started the same year and finalized in 2003 jointly by Norway and Azerbaijan.
Nowadays, the church is functioning as a museum that is open for all the curious tourists.
The Kish Alban temple was included in the list of world-wide monuments by the decision of the Azerbaijan Cabinet of Ministers dated August 2, 2001, and protected by the state as a historical and architectural monument. In 2003, the Historical-Architectural Reserve Museum was established in the area of the temple.
For centuries, representatives of all nations and religions have lived peacefully in Azerbaijan, a multicultural and multi-confessional country.
The assessment of the material and cultural heritage, the restoration, and the 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.
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.
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.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993
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